Officials from the Saudi government and the European Commission meeting at a forum in Riyadh have reaffirmed their commitment to increasing and deepening the investment relationships between the two countries.
Meeting at the Saudi-EU Investment Forum, the Saudi Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Falih, and the Vice-President of the European Commission Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maros Sefcovic, released a joint statement in which both parties recognised "the imperative of forging a deeper strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the European Union".
Already one of Saudi Arabia’s largest trading and investment partners, the EU is aiming to "accelerate the development and implementation of sustainable, digital solutions to the benefit of their societies and contribute to global progress".
The Saudi-EU Investment Forum in Riyadh identified several key areas where investment co-operation between the two trading partners could be enhanced.
These ranged from sustainable energy to information technology and from critical minerals to entrepreneurship.
This meant increased investments in each other's green initiatives, digital developments and entrepreneurship schemes.
“Together, the European Union and Saudi Arabia can foster closer co-operation bringing mutual benefits, with enhanced trade and investment flows, support to the stability of the respective business and investment environments, and further promoting the integration of our economies,” Mr Sefcovic said.
According to UN figures, the European Union's imports from Saudi Arabia in 2022 were worth $46.22 billion, with oil and related chemical products making up the bulk of that.
Mr Al-Falih told the forum that 1,300 European companies have investments in Saudi Arabia, which in turn has “important Saudi investors in most EU countries".
“We are confident that there is a clear convergence between Saudi Arabia’s transformation and Europe’s transition – and that what Europe needs, the kingdom can provide like no other.
"Where Europe faces challenges or sees opportunity emerging from disruption, the partnership with Saudi Arabia can be a key part of the solution,” he added.