Saudi Arabia, Finland to boost trade relations

JEDDAH — The Finnish business delegation led by Finland President Tarja Halonen was apprised of potential areas of investment for Finnish corporations in Saudi Arabia's six economic cities by Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Amr Al Dabbagh in Jeddah recently.

By Our Correspondent

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2007, 9:07 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:21 PM

Halonen emphasised prospects of expanding cooperation between the two countries in industry, technology and electricity. "I see a vast horizon for cooperation," she said.

During a reception, Al Dabbagh briefed Halonen on the huge projects being carried out in the kingdom.

He highlighted the Kingdom's progress in achieving its economic growth, and added that it had recently jumped from 36th last year to 23rd place this year in the World Bank's 'Doing Business 2008' report.

He added that Saudi Arabia was ranked seventh in the world in terms of economic reforms.

In a statement made available to Khaleej Times here, SAGIA said that the governor spoke about King Abdullah's comprehensive economic reforms toward development and improving efforts to provide a better environment for businesses.

Al Dabbagh made clear to the Finnish president the Kingdom's keenness on resolving problems in the investment sector to attract foreign investment opportunities through the cooperation of concerned government bodies.

Fahd Al Rashed, deputy governor of SAGIA for economic cities, said the Saudi-Finnish meeting was a rich opportunity for both sides to discuss areas of future possibilities in investment.

"The visit reflects the keen interest of Finnish companies to invest in Saudi Arabia, especially in King Abdullah Economic City," he said.

"The Finnish delegation was briefed about the economic potential in Saudi Arabia as well as SAGIA's vision to achieve speedy investment growth in Saudi Arabia," he said, and added that SAGIA underscored Saudi Arabia's strategic location between the east and west, aside from being a global source of energy.

Abdulwahab Al Saadoon, head of the energy department in SAGIA, said that the investment body presented to the Finnish delegation growth indexes achieved by the Saudi economy in the past years, making the Kingdom the 'largest economy in the region' with the highest GDP growth.

He added that SAGIA also showed to the delegation the development of the Kingdom's petrochemical sector that has an average growth of 12.2 per cent. Halonen later addressed Saudi businessmen in Jeddah and encouraged them to invest in her country.

She reiterated Finland's support for EU-GCC free-trade agreement.

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