Saudi-Egyptian business forum mulls economy based on innovation

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Participants in the Saudi-Egyptian Business Opportunities Forum stressed the importance of commercial ties between the business communities in the Kingdom and Egypt. They also emphasized the bilateral cooperation in boosting economic and trade relations between the two governments, Saudi Press Agency reported Saturday.

In the final communique of the forum issued Saturday, they supported the Saudi-Egyptian strategic partnership in the 21st century that was stressed by the leaders of the two countries during the visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Egypt. They said that this forms the main foundation on which to build more productive economic and trade relations between the Kingdom and Egypt.

The communique highlighted the keenness of the two governments to create new job opportunities for Saudi citizens and Egyptians equally and increase local economic growth by expanding the current economic fields and create new fields. The communique called for strengthening the investment environment in the two countries by developing trade legislations and cooperating with the private sector so as to lay down new business policies and regulations. It called for approving measures that will facilitate the entry of new international companies that rely on modern technology, especially small and medium companies, in the Saudi and Egyptian markets. This should be in conformity with the commitments of the two countries in WTO.

The two countries intend to share their historic experiences in attracting investments, developing a knowledge-based society and an economy based on innovation. The two countries called for supporting the research and development fields and educating and training the youth to enable them to become the next generation of creative people, scientists and big businessmen and government officials in the two countries.

The communique mentioned several sectors in which the two countries are expected to cooperate during the coming decade as per the ambitious economic transformation program. They include agricultural investment, food industries, renewable energy, mining, information technology, industrial and real estate investment and commercial investment especially in the field of commercial services.

The communique called on the Egyptian private sector to invest in the Saudi market and vice versa.

The Saudi-Egyptian Business Opportunities Forum issued several bilateral initiatives including setting up an electronic portal for drawing up a preliminary road map for commercial and industrial opportunities available for bilateral joint investments in the two countries.

Initiatives to encourage strategic mergers and alliances between companies of various sizes in the two countries so as to gain competitiveness and overcome the problems of faltering projects, which the two countries are suffering from.

To set up an office for facilitating procedures for businessmen and investors in the two countries.

To encourage studies, scholarships, research and scientific research programs between the two countries (The universities in the two countries are called upon to activate this initiative)

To set up a joint network for exchange of knowledge, sciences and research in all fields of life.

To activate the role of embassies, especially the commercial attaché offices in highlighting the investment and business opportunities in the two countries.

An initiative to stress solving the problems facing existing Saudi investments by laying down an investment regulation having clear features.

Commitment of the two countries to the rules of the Grand Arab free trade zone and the decisions of the socio-economic council and removing the obstacles facing the growth of trade exchange.

An agreement was reached between Maaden Company and Egyptian companies in the field of mining to exchange expertise, technical visits, and boosting and localizing technology in the exploitation of precious metals including gold. The Egyptian side will open the way for Maaden products in the Egyptian markets on a purely commercial basis.

An initiative for setting up an electronic link-up to organize the movement of Egyptian workers to work in the Kingdom as well as exchange electronic data.

During the deliberations of the forum Saturday, the Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said during a speech that there are directives by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to open the way in retail and wholesale trade before foreign companies and their products, according to certain conditions and controls. He said the Kingdom’s retail sector is one of the biggest in the Arab world.

Meanwhile, during a meeting Saturday with the Egyptian Minister of Investment Daliya Khurshid in Cairo, the Minister of Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadli discussed available investment opportunities in the field of agriculture in Egypt.

In another development, Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen held a meeting in Cairo today with the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Muhammad Abdulati. They discussed the draft cooperation agreement in the field of water including groundwater, drilling wells and joint studies in saline water desalination.

Minister of Housing Majed Al-Huqail paid a visit Saturday to the headquarters of the Construction and Housing Bank here. He was accompanied by Khaled Abbas, Egyptian assistant minister of housing for technical affairs, who briefed him on the Egyptian experience in the field of housing.

The media delegation accompanying King Salman today paid a visit to the Middle East News Agency (MENA) and got acquainted with the various departments of the agency.

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