Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning, in Maximos Mansion, with the Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Falih, who is visiting our country to participate in the Greek – Saudi Business Forum and to co-chair the works of the 5th Joint Inter-ministerial Committee.
“You know how much importance we place in this relationship and how much more we think we can do on the business front. I had also the opportunity to discuss with his Royal Highness at the conference last Thursday, his upcoming visit to Greece. And of course, he reiterated once more his commitment towards making sure that we have tangible results from the strategic partnership”, stressed the Prime Minister at the beginning of the meeting.
“The vision that you and His Royal Highness have of connecting Greece and Saudi Arabia on multiple fronts is being materialized, actually on the ground and connectivity, whether it’s digital, energy, trade, logistics, cross investment, tourism”, pointed out Mr. Al Falih, who is accompanied by eight Deputy Ministers and leads a large business delegation representing 59 Saudi companies.
In the meeting, the prospects for further strengthening of bilateral relations in a variety of sectors, such as energy, tourism, shipping, culture, health and agri-food products were confirmed.
The Prime Minister stressed that attracting direct investment is a priority of the government and expressed his intention to intensify mutually beneficial cooperation with Saudi Arabia. He also noted that he is looking forward to another meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, during his official visit to Greece which is planned for the near future.
The meeting in Maximos Mansion is held following the visit of a major Greek business delegation in Saudi Arabia in March, the visit of the Prime Minister in Riyadh last October and his former meeting with Mr Al Falih, last September. Last week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a telephone conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting was attended, from the Greek side, by the Minister of Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis, Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragkogiannis, Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Openness, Ioannis Smyrlis, the Ambassador of Greece to Saudi Arabia Alexis Konstantopoulos, Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister Alexis Patelis, Alternate Government Spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni and Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister Gasparis Vlachakis.
The whole dialogue between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia follows:
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: So good to have you here. We’re so excited about the fact that we are hosting this Greece-Saudi Arabia Business Forum. I understand you had a very nice visit to Santorini, and I am sure you will have very productive meetings today and tomorrow. You know how much importance we place in this relationship and how much more we think we can do on the business front. I had also the opportunity to discuss with his Royal Highness at the conference last Thursday, his upcoming visit to Greece. And of course, he reiterated once more his commitment towards making sure that we have tangible results from the strategic partnership. So I understand that many interactions between businesses have already taken place, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the progress we have made. Again, once more. Welcome.
Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Falih: Your Excellency. Honorable Prime Minister, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity and the audience with you, myself, my colleagues from the business community. This is the second time I see you in about eight months. We were here in September, and you were kind enough to give us the time. And of course, I had the honor of being in the delegation that hosted you when you came to Saudi Arabia, spoke at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), and had the summit with the Crown Prince.
I carry, of course, the Greetings of His Majesty, the King, his Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and indeed the government and the people of Saudi Arabia who look at Greece with the highest respects and great expectations that under your leadership and the leadership of our King and Crown Prince, we’re going to go to new heights.
I want to thank you and your team. Your Ministers have been extremely gracious and extremely hardworking and taking your expectations and that of our leadership to fruition and getting us to results. They have visited with us with a very large delegation in March from business community and government, and we had great meetings in Riyadh.
But we also went to AlUla and showed them archeological sites of our own, just like they showed us yesterday with the Santorini archeological site.
And they demonstrated to us – as much as we demonstrated to them – that our relationship goes back thousands of years. Because we could show them in AlUla the Greek civilization influence in Arabia. And yesterday we also saw how the Greeks had traveled and connected the Middle East.
The vision that you and His Royal Highness have of connecting Greece and Saudi Arabia on multiple fronts is being materialized, actually on the ground and connectivity, whether it’s digital, energy, trade, logistics, cross investment, tourism.
And I’m honored that I have the people who get things done with me. Our business community is well represented not only in this meeting, an audience with you, Your Excellency, but also much larger numbers in the Business Forum that you refer to. We have about 60 companies and about 80 delegates that are here in Athens looking to make a lot of impact in the last two days. So again. Thank you very much.