My first mission this year was to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – a strategic partner of the EU in terms of trade and business cooperation. The aim of my visit was to explore opportunities for investments and to further strengthen our cooperation in transport. It is also the beginning of a series of high level engagements of the EU to upgrade our partnership.

On the first day of our visit, I attended a number of bilateral meetings with Saudi government officials from the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Economy and Planning; and had the pleasure to meet with His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Khalid Al Saud of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). The second day was dedicated to the EU - Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Business forum, which aims to promote closer ties between the business communities in the two regions.

 

 

Saudi Arabia is the EU's 12th trading partner, while the EU is KSA's first trading partner. Furthermore GCC is the EU's fourth largest export market while EU is the biggest trading partner for GCC, with trade flows that reach €152 billion, or 13% of the GCC's global trade. 

The main outcomes of meetings with the Saudi government:

  • We have established a strong partnership with His Royal Highness.
  • We have laid the foundation for the EU to work more closely with Saudi Arabia on the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 and its underlying National Transformation Plan.
  • EU's collaboration on the abovementioned programs would provide opportunities for promoting further trade, business and investment exchanges.
  • With this aim, working groups could be established for discussion of the projects planned under the Vision.
  • Considering the need for a more regular engagement with the private sector, EU private sector platform could be established in the region.
  • The investment opportunities in EU should be further promoted, namely the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).

 

At the 2nd EU-GCC Business Forum, more than 310 participants attended the opening ceremony – more than 130 of them were representing the EU companies. Participants agreed that the EU and GCC need to meet the conditions to further increase their bilateral trade and investments potential, including the negotiation of a comprehensive EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement. We agreed to establish a structured informal dialogue on trade and investment.

Finally, a Joint Business Declaration was signed by the Deputy Director of Confederation of Danish Industry, Director of BUSINESSEUROPE, and Secretary General of the Federation of Gulf Council Chambers of Commerce.

The declaration entails the business recommendations regarding: 

  • Infrastructure development and financing – intra- and extra – regional cooperation are crucial to achieve economies of scale and EU companies are encouraged to enter into projects with GCC counterparts and share their experiences;
  • Sustainable Cities and Financing the Future of Sustainability in the GCC – Public-Private Partnerships are a great example of financing projects for improving energy efficiency and urban environments, but an enabling environment is critical for the success.

 

 

Misija v Savdsko Arabijo – sklepanje partnerstev za krepitev sodelovanja v prometu

Moja prva misija v letošnjem letu je bila v Savdski Arabiji, ki je strateški partner na področju trgovinskega in poslovnega sodelovanja. Namen obiska je bil raziskati priložnosti za investicije in dodatno okrepiti naše sodelovanje v prometu. Obisk je tudi začetek serije udejstvovanja EU na visoki ravni za nadgraditev partnerstva.

Prvi dan obiska sem se udeležila številnih bilateralnih srečanj s savdskoarabskimi vladnimi uslužbenci z ministrstva za promet in ministrstva za gospodarstvo in načrtovanje. V čast mi je bilo tudi srečati se s princem Saudom bin Khalid Al Saudom, predstavnikom državnega urada za investicije (SAGIA). Drugi dan je bil posvečen gospodarskemu forumu med EU in Svetom za sodelovanje v Zalivu (GCC), ki je namenjen spodbujanju tesnejših vezi med poslovnimi skupnostmi v obeh regijah.

Savdska Arabija je 12. trgovinski partner EU, medtem ko je EU prvi trgovinski partner Savdske Arabije. Poleg tega pa je GCC četrti največji izvozni trg za EU, slednja pa je največji trgovinski partner GCC regije, s trgovinskimi tokovi, ki obsegajo  €152 milijard ali 13% globalne trgovine zalivske regije.

Glavni zaključki sestankov s savdskoarabsko vlado so zajeti spodaj:

  • Vzpostavili smo močno partnerstvo s princem Saudom bin Khalid Al Saudom.
  • Vzpostavili smo temelje za tesno sodelovanje med EU in Savdsko Arabijo pri implementaciji programov Savdska vizija 2030 in Nacionalni transformacijski načrt.
  • Sodelovanje EU pri zgoraj omenjenih programih bi omogočilo nadaljnje spodbujanje trgovanja, poslovanja in medsebojne naložbe.
  • S tem namenom bi lahko ustanovili delovne skupine za razprave o projektih v okviru Savdske vizije 2030.
  • V skladu s potrebami po rednejšim sodelovanjem z zasebnim sektorjem bi lahko ustanovili EU platformo za zasebni sektor v zalivski regiji.
  • Potrebno je nadaljnje spodbujanje naložbenih priložnosti v EU, predvsem Evropski sklad za strateške naložbe (EFSI).

 

Na drugem poslovnem forumu med EU in GCC se je več kot 310 udeležencev udeležilo otvoritvene slovesnosti – več kot 130 med njimi je bilo predstavnikov evropskih podjetij. Udeleženci so se strinjali, da EU in GCC morata vzpostaviti pogoje za povečanje dvostranskega trgovanja in naložbenih potencialov, vključno s pogajanji za celostni sporazum o prosti trgovini med EU in GCC. Dogovorili smo se o vzpostavitvi strukturiranega neformalnega dialoga o trgovanju in naložbah.

Forum je bil sklenjen s podpisom skupne poslovne deklaracije, ki so jo podpisali namestnik direktorja Konfederacije danske industrije, direktor organizacije BUSINESSEUROPE in generalni sekretar Federacije gospodarskih zbornic v Zalivu.

Deklaracija vsebuje poslovna priporočila glede naslednjih področij:

  • Infrastrukturni razvoj in financiranje – sodelovanje znotraj in zunaj regije je pomembno za doseganje ekonomije obsega, EU podjetja pa se spodbuja, da vstopijo v sodelovanje s partnerji v zalivski regiji glede projektov in delijo svoje izkušnje.
  • Trajnostna mesta in financiranje trajnostne prihodnosti zalivske regije – javno-zasebna partnerstva so dober primer financiranja projektov za izboljšanje energetske učinkovitosti in urbanega okolja, a ključno je zagotoviti okolje, ki bo omogočalo uspešno delovanje.

 

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