The Saudi-Greek card establishes an effective economic and trade partnership

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Saudi Arabia and Greece aim to increase their economic, investment and trade cooperation.

The Saudi Investment Ministry hosted the Saudi-Greek Investment Forum in Riyadh on Sunday, with senior officials, executive directors of several major Saudi and Greek companies, and private sector representatives from both sides.

The event aims to present investment opportunities and examine aspects of the development of the business environment in the Kingdom.

Saudi Investment Minister Khaled al-Falih confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi economy is growing steadily in the first five years of Vision 2030, coupled with fundamental reforms.

Falih said that the National Investment Strategy will enable local and foreign investors to take advantage of the opportunities available through the sectoral activities, noting that the volume of investments planned in the following years, until 2030, is about 3, $3 trillion, fully available to foreign investors.

overcoming crises

The Minister underlined that the Kingdom has been able to overcome several crises that have hit the whole world in recent years, in particular the health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic with its impact on the economic situation in 2020.

The Saudi economy is heading for more development and growth, the minister said.

Greek cooperation

Falih touched on Saudi-Greek cooperation, saying Athens’ economy is based on tourism, energy, maritime industries and construction sectors, which are the four most important sectors and the focus of the Forum. of Saudi-Greek investment.

The Forum unfolded on Sunday over four sessions bringing together leaders from the private and public sectors.

The official expects the Forum to provide investment opportunities to benefit both countries.

Investment incentives

Greek Minister of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis and Greek Deputy Minister of Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis affirmed that the political will in the two countries aims to push the bilateral relations to a broader economic and political scale, to the light of incentives and guarantees to encourage and protect mutual investments.

The two officials highlighted the partnership strategy between Riyadh and Athens given the opportunities available in both countries, stressing that Greece is ready to shift Saudi exports to European markets and neighboring regions.

They noted that the two governments have launched several initiatives and reforms to attract investment, expecting trade to grow in the coming period.

Cooperation framework

“We have arrived at a map that clearly and effectively frames our economic, investment and trade cooperation with the Saudi side,” Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Sophia Zacharaki said.

Zacharaki told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We look forward to working in the coming period to support development, expand tourism and digitize the sector.”

She noted that now is the time to develop bilateral relations towards broader horizons, especially in a post-coronavirus period.

The deputy minister announced a major Saudi investment in the Greek tourism sector and other industries, with facilities that increase the number of tourists, exchange of visits and direct flights between the two countries.

She stressed that the Kingdom has shown great seriousness in implementing the Vision 2030 programs, noting that her country is already seeking to deepen and develop partnerships.

Target sector

Zacharaki expects the tourism sector to recover and increase its growth to 8%, which means the recovery of 15 billion euros in direct income following the development of the industry and the creation of new hotels.

“In 2021, revenues increased by 6% compared to 2019, which means that 11 billion euros were obtained directly from those who chose Greece as their destination,” the official said, adding that despite the conditions geopolitical and geospatial aspects of the region, “the sector has increased by about 80 percent compared to before the [coronavirus] pandemic.”

True partnership

For his part, the Speaker of the Saudi Chambers, Ajlan al-Ajlan, stressed that the breadth of investment, trade and economic opportunities in the Kingdom and Greece make the Investment Forum a real opportunity for a solid partnership.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ajlan said that the trade volume between the two countries has increased by 61% to $1.8 billion, which means that there is a large scope for increase in trade. trade, especially in vital sectors dominated by tourism. , logistics and agriculture.

The President stressed that Greece supports investments in light of the firm will of the leaders and the government of the two countries to advance bilateral cooperation towards ever-wider horizons.

The two leaders also seek to support the private sector in both countries, which means strengthening their cooperation with an integrated and precise plan.

Investment strategy

The Saudi Ministry of Investment revealed at the Forum that 14 Greek companies are investing in the Saudi energy, renewable energy and tourism market.

The Forum included sessions to discuss the future of energy, renewable energy, transport and services, logistics, the future of tourism, construction and innovation sectors.

Senior Saudi and Greek investment officials met in the Saudi capital to discuss cooperation.

Several bilateral meetings between government agencies and the private sector of both parties were held on the sidelines of the Forum to discuss opportunities for cooperation, partnership and promising investment opportunities available in the two countries.


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