24 June 2015 – The Saudi French Business Council (CAFS) held a meeting in Paris, attended by His Excellency, Dr. Tawfiq AL-RABIAH, Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting was organised on the occasion of the Paris visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince, Minister of Defense, and chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This meeting, co-chaired by Mr. Jean-Louis CHAUSSADE (MEDEF International) and Dr. Mohamed BEN LADEN (CAFS), brought into focus the priority areas of cooperation between France and Saudi Arabia. Particular importance was placed on the field of healthcare, agriculture, and housing. It also allowed for diligent preparation of the 2nd Saudi-French Business Forum, which will be held in Riyadh on the 12th and 13th October 2015.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry reminded the attendees of the excellent relations between Saudi Arabia and France.
The French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Bertrand BESANCENOT, also drew attention to the strong Saudi-French political and commercial convergence, recalling that the French president’s visits in May of 2105 affirmed the qualitative leap in their bilateral relations. Moreover, on that same day, different contracts were signed between France and Saudi Arabia, amounting to a total of 12 billion dollars.
Mr. Imad AL-ABDULQADER, Marketing Director of SAGIA, then gave an overview of the diversification strategy for the Saudi Arabian economy, which is based on three priority sectors: healthcare, transport, and industrial equipment, all three also being outstanding areas for French companies.
Mr. AL-DUBAIKHI, Chairman of Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC), the powerful farm investment fund established in 2011, presented ambitious Saudi investment objectives in the Agri-food sector.
The chairman of The Care Group, Mr. AL-DUKAIR, emphasized the excellent initiative on the part of the Saudis in the healthcare sector, an area that represents 5% of the country’s GDP. Finally, the Minister of Housing’s presentation clearly expressed the very high demand for housing in Saudi Arabia, and consequently, the need for urban construction.
More than ever, Saudi Arabia appears to be a country open to French investors, and this morning created a moment where the companies present came to a better understanding of that fact while being able to ask the speakers questions.