Saudi Arabia and Italy underscored on Monday their strategic relations and determination to further expand their economic partnership.
Addressing the Saudi-Italian Investment Forum being in Riyadh, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jadaan discussed the national economy and the “enormous” investment opportunities available.
He said his country is going through an economic transformation that creates investment opportunities in many areas in various sectors.
Saudi Arabia is going through an economic transformation with different companies capable of attracting Italian expertise, capabilities, and innovation.
Bilateral trade between the two nations topped $8.6 billion, a 32.9 percent increase in 2020.
Italy is Saudi Arabia’s seventh-largest supplier of goods, and the Kingdom ranks 21 in goods supplied to Italy. Saudi Arabia provides approximately 9 percent of Italy’s oil imports.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 12th session of the Saudi-Italian Joint Commission, Jadaan explained that Saudi Arabia is undergoing an economic transformation with the diversification of its economy by concentrating more on non-oil sectors.
He explained that the national economic transformation opens horizons for investors and innovative creativity, calling on Italian investors to be part of this.
“Italian investors with expertise, experience, and innovation are invited to be a part of our transformation,” the minister added.
Moreover, Jadaan indicated that Saudi Arabia is increasing its renewable energy resources and creating a series of services, creating great investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
Italy is a leading country in energy investment, said the minister, noting that Italian investors have the opportunity to participate in the Saudi economic transformation.
He addressed culture and tourism, noting that Saudi Arabia is making significant efforts to develop the two sectors by encouraging investors and creating long-term opportunities.
Speaking at the event, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio stressed that his country is fully prepared to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Riyadh and Rome share common interests and strategic priorities that have provided the foundations of a long-term relationship spanning more than nine decades, he remarked.
Italian high-tech companies will contribute to the Kingdom’s goals of achieving a more diversified economy, especially in sustainability and energy transition, he continued.
Di Maio acknowledged the Saudi achievements in transforming society and business, asserting that Italy is fully prepared to provide the support the Kingdom needs to implement its reforms.
At the forum, representatives of the private sector emphasized a large number of investment opportunities, leveraging the human and natural resources boasted by their countries and developing programs for partnerships in the economic, commercial, and industrial fields.
Several agreements between Saudi and Italian companies to launch joint businesses were signed at the forum.
Chairman of the Saudi-Italian Business Council, Kamel al-Munajjed, said the efforts made in economic transformation have gone a long way in converting the Saudi economy from an oil-based economy to a prosperous knowledge-based economy.
The economy provided opportunities for millions of Saudi youths, mobilizing untapped potentials in revitalizing the entire society with the dynamism and stimulus the Kingdom’s economy enjoys.
Munajjed explained that Vision 2030 contributed to creating innovative job opportunities, placing the Kingdom at the forefront of the green economy countries through the initiatives and renewable energy projects.
He called on Italian investors and companies to double the trade exchange, which ranges from $7 to $8 billion annually, urging the authorities in the two countries to support the partnerships through agreements that prevent double taxation and protect the investment.
He pointed out that Italy is the Kingdom’s top partner in the small and medium-sized companies.
Furthermore, he noted that Italy could explore vast potential and opportunities in archaeology and cultural and tourism projects in AlUla.
Italian banks and investment companies are welcome to launch their business in the Saudi market, said Munajjed.
The Saudi-Italian Investment Forum saw the participation of a range of private sector representatives from both nations to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities.
With a focus on finance, infrastructure and mobility, tourism and culture, and renewable energy, the forum featured interactive presentations spotlighting how a world of opportunity awaits Italian investors as Saudi Arabia’s globally recognized reform agenda continues to progress.
The forum concluded with bilateral business meetings and the opportunity for Italian investors to explore the world-leading support services available from Invest Saudi, the Kingdom’s investment promotion platform.