French investments in Saudi Arabia top $21.3bn

Managing director of the Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan, left, and French Junior Minister for the Digital Sector Mounir Mahjoubi, center, visit the ‘Station F’ start up campus in Paris on Monday. AFP
Updated 10 April 2018

French investments in Saudi Arabia top $21.3bn

  • Saudi-French relations date back to King Faisal’s visit in 1967
  • Saudi-French relations politically and economically, boosted by the deep-rooted ties of both countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has emerged as one of the top destinations for French investment, estimated at more than SR80 billion ($21.3 billion) according to a new report.
It comes amid a raft of expected partnerships between the pair with Saudi Aramco set to sign eight deals worth $10 billion, Al-Arabiya reported on Monday.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) released new data to coincide with the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to France.
“The growing interest of French companies in the Saudi markets comes in response to the development of Saudi-French relations politically and economically, boosted by the deep-rooted ties of both countries,” said SAGIA.
The visit by the crown prince to France follows trips to the US and UK as the Kingdom looks to strengthen ties with key trading partners as it drives through a social and economic reform agenda.
There are 179 French licensed projects in Saudi Arabia, covering a range of sectors. Most of these licenses were issued in the services sector, followed by the industrial space, SAGIA said.
The report highlighted ongoing reforms that are being driven by Saudi Vision 2030 — including speedier business registration with investment licenses issued as quickly as four hours.
“France is among the targeted countries to attract specific investments that would contribute in diversifying the Kingdom’s production base,” SAGIA said.
Saudi Arabia wants to make it into the top 20 countries listed in the Global Competitiveness Report by 2020, rising to a top 10 ranking by 2030.
“Major economic reforms are bringing more and more investments in the Kingdom,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a member of the Shoura Council.
He added: “France has been keen on investing in Saudi Arabia, a move which will bring technology and wealth, and create jobs for the country’s youth.
“The Kingdom’s strategic partner is a technologically advanced country, and the relationship with France will help the country grow technologically in a big way,” said the Shoura member.
Saudi-French relations date back to King Faisal’s visit in 1967, when the two sides first set about building stronger ties. Saudi-French relations have grown from strength to strength in the following five decades.


Safeguarding the Two Holy Mosques is vital task for Saudi security forces, spokesman says

Updated 37 min 22 sec ago

Safeguarding the Two Holy Mosques is vital task for Saudi security forces, spokesman says

  • Attia also reviewed the security issues and challenges the Kingdom has faced over the years

MAKKAH: Maj. Gen. Bassam Attia, a spokesman for the Saudi security forces, on Tuesday highlighted the importance of national security and the efforts that are made to develop procedures and strategies to protect the Kingdom from hostile forces.

In particular, he stressed the importance that is placed on ensuring the security of the Two Holy Mosques, in recognition of their unique place in the history and heritage of the country, and their civilizational and historical value.

His comments came during a lecture titled “Threats to National Security,” which was organized by Umm Al-Qura University in collaboration with the Presidency of State Security. The university’s president, Dr. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, also attended.

During his talk, Attia reviewed the security issues and challenges the Kingdom has faced over the years. He discussed the frameworks that have been put in place to protect the nation and its leaders from terrorism, extremism and espionage, and thwart any hostile acts or plans.

He also discussed key national-security concepts adopted by all countries, including economic, military, social, psychological, geopolitical, environmental, educational and political dimensions. He noted that efforts to ensure and preserve Saudi Arabia’s national security begin from within and extend throughout the region and internationally, and that what happens in the Kingdom affects other countries. Attia added that protecting the security of the Kingdom is a broad remit that constantly faces new challenges.