The first day, hosted by the Sweden Pavilion, included introductory speeches by Niclas Trouvé, Sweden’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Hussain Hanbazazah, Commissioner – General of the Pavilion of Saudi Arabia; and Jan Thesleff, Commissioner General for the Swedish Pavilion.
Commissioner General Hussain Hanbazazah highlighted how Swedish companies have operated in the Kingdom for over 70 years, noting that Saudi Arabia is Sweden’s largest economic partner in the Middle East and the No. 1 trading partner among the Scandinavian countries, with the volume of trade exchanges in the past. five years and reached more than $ 6 billion.
“As a continuation of our historical relationship, we are inspired by the efforts made by our leaders to promote bilateral relations between our two countries, which resulted in the recent establishment of the Saudi-Swedish Business Council in Stockholm, exchange of expertise and knowledge and attitudes. and programs to seize investment opportunities and turn them into concrete partnerships, ”he said.
“Saudi Arabia welcomes and invites Swedish companies to invest in our country and to take advantage of the opportunities and initiatives in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, especially in sustainability, smart cities, the manufacturing industry and areas such as e-commerce and information technology.”
Speakers during the two-day event included Jan Larsson, CEO, Business Sweden; Patrick El-Cheikh, Secretary General, Saudi Sweden Joint Business Council; Marcus Petersson, Swedish Trade Commissioner in Saudi Arabia; Khawla Alhaqbani, Senior International Relations Specialist, Saudi General External Trade Authority (GAFT); Fawaz Alotailbi, Executive Member, Saudi Sweden Joint Business Council; and Saleh Khabti, Deputy Head of Investment Transactions at the Saudi Ministry of Investment (MISA).
Representatives from the Ministry of Investment also participated from the Saudi side; Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources; Ministry of Municipal, Rural and Housing Affairs; Invest Saudi; National Program for Industrial Development and Logistics (NIDLP); Local content and state procurement authority; Industrial Center; Federation of Saudi Chambers; General Authority of Foreign Trade; THIQAH Business Services; the mining company Ma’aden; Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC); major real estate developer Roshn; and Red Sea Development Company; and from the Swedish side telecommunications company Ericsson; the engineering consulting company Sweco; and Swedish-Swiss multinational companies and technology leaders ABB; and the multinational food packaging and processing company Tetra Pak.
Highlights from the two-day event included sessions on investing in Saudi Arabia and Sweden, digital transformation, including how governments can lead this, and sustainability, including building Saudi Arabia’s circular economy and related investment opportunities, with a case study on recycling in the UK. Further panel discussions explored sustainable mining, collaboration in smart manufacturing and enabling smart and sustainable cities.
Niclas Trouvé, Sweden’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said that the talks during the two-day event were mainly about “progressive performance”.
“Saudi Arabia and Sweden have a fantastic journey ahead of them, to protect people and the planet through sustainable and green solutions. “We must do this together by strengthening partnerships between governments and the private sector in order to move forward together,” he said. – TradeArabia News Service