French delegation briefed about investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia

April 08, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia were in the spotlight as the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) on Thursday welcomed a French delegation of government officials, diplomats, and investors.

The delegation included French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester and French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille.

Highlighting the strong relations with France during the meeting, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih said: “Our strong relations with France continue to grow on all fronts, but especially in investment. Vision 2030 has opened up a lot of opportunities and we believe that the sky is the limit in terms of our collaboration. We have seen the Kingdom leap forward in many areas including ease and cost of doing business, which has streamlined the Saudi investment environment. We hope that today we will demonstrate the attractiveness of these investment opportunities as we host our French partners.”

Speaking on the occasion, the French minister said: “I want to thank Khalid Al Falih for his warm welcome. Together we aim to further strengthen the already flourishing economic relationship between our two countries. Under Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has launched an ambitious program to diversify its economy. French companies are ready and willing to be major partners in the Kingdom’s giga-projects. Thanks to their world-renowned know-how and unmatched expertise, they are ideally suited to meet the high expectations of the Kingdom.”

A framework cooperation agreement was signed between MISA and MEDEF International, a French non-profit responsible for promoting the French private sector internationally, which will focus on enhancing bilateral investment relations and support long-term partnerships in emerging sectors.

Commenting on the agreement, Laurent Germain, chairman of the Saudi-French Business Council of MEDEF International said: “I am delighted to have signed the framework cooperation agreement between MEDEF International and the Saudi Ministry of Investment, which will serve as an important step in deepening Saudi-French economic ties. Over the past couple of days, we held insightful and productive meetings with Saudi ministers, government officials, CEOs, and investors, and we thank our Saudi partners for hosting us.”

French and Saudi investors participated in meetings focused on showcasing investment opportunities and emphasizing the strong business and economic ties between the two nations. Giga projects such as NEOM and investment opportunities in key sectors driving the diversification of the Kingdom’s economy were at the forefront as several Saudi government entities held wide-ranging workshops with the French delegation.

Saudi Arabia and France have enjoyed a historically close relationship based on cooperation on multiple fronts, including investment and trade. France ranks third among countries investing in Saudi Arabia and more than 80 French companies are operating in the Kingdom today, while bilateral trade between the two nations is over $9 billion.

The two countries also signed a partnership in 2018 to establish the French Agency for AlUla Development (AFALULA) to support in developing AlUla into a global tourism destination.

The meetings were held in Riyadh on 6 and 7 April and were attended by several Saudi government entities, including officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Commerce, and the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

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