Meeting of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, met in order to discuss the opportunities to invest Saudi Arabia funds in Greece as well as the investment opportunities for Greek companies in Saudi Arabia.
Below are the statements (with reciprocal addressing) of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Commerce and Investment of Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi: We believe that things have improved significantly since you took office. Uncertainty was an issue for Greece. The financial crisis and a number of other factors had created a cloud of uncertainty with negative implications on entrepreneurship and investments. And this was the view not only of Saudi Arabia but of other countries as well. Now there is a sign of hope that these will be rekindled. I love your country very much. Only a few months ago Greece was visited by the Head of Saudi Arabia’s international commerce and we are expecting the Prime Minister to visit us within the first week of March. Both sides need to be prepared. On your part, Prime Minister, you need to present the potential investment opportunities available to the Saudis and we will set up a business delegation to visit Greece and investigate them; to meet the right people and understand the new investment-friendly framework, because I have heard that Greece is willing to facilitate and support investments. Therefore, we need to explain this to the ecosystem of the business community, to explain, that is, how friendly the environment has become and to identify those opportunities. And, if I may say so, I will take this opportunity and accompany the business delegation.
Prime Minister: Thank you for your kind words. I am really glad to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a long time since a Greek Prime Minister paid an official visit during a period of great geopolitical and economic importance. I am very pleased to hear you acknowledge that the investment climate in Greece has improved significantly over the last six months, something that is also reflected in the capital markets and in the wider interest of the international investment community to invest in Greece. We consider Saudi Arabia a strategic partner in this endeavour, and as the Kingdom is making significant efforts to diversify its economic activity, we consider Greece a prime target for foreign investment by Saudi Arabian businesses. Moreover, we are looking forward to the official State Fund investing in Greece. Much has changed and it will be our great pleasure to welcome your delegation in Greece. Saudi Arabian business groups are already active in Greece, as I’m sure you are aware, and as far as I know, they are quite pleased with their investment. What I would like to note is that Greece will grow at a significant pace in the years to come. Therefore, the earlier the investments are made, the better it will be for investors. Greece and Cyprus are the European countries closest to Saudi Arabia, with strong cultural and historical ties, and I believe that the time is opportune for Saudi Arabia to mobilise funds for investments in Greece. The time is right and, as you diversify your economy, we will look for opportunities to expand our operations in Saudi Arabia. There is a long history of Greek businesses operating in the country. Therefore, the time is ideal and I am sure we will have the opportunity, in the following months, to discuss, us and our delegations, all arising opportunities in detail. We have with us Mr. Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and the Minister of Development and Investments, Mr. Georgiadis, who is in charge of resolving issues and any type of difficulties with foreign investments, should these occur.
During the meeting of the Prime Minister with the Minister of Commerce of Saudi Arabia, the possibility of cooperation in the field of tourism and logistics was also discussed. On this issue, Saudi Arabia has requested assistance in the area of know-how, since the goal is to organize tourism in those areas where no strict restrictions apply. Moreover, they wish to make their country a logistics hub for the region. The Greek side has provided a list of fields where investments from Saudi funds would be welcome and Ministers Adonis Georgiadis and Haris Theocharis will visit Saudi Arabia next month in order to sign an investment agreement.
On the Greek side, the meeting was attended by the Minister of Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis, the Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Economic Diplomacy and Openness Konstantinos Frangogiannis and by the Head of the Finance Office of the Prime Minister’s General Secretariat, Alexis Patelis.