Philip Gassmann, Consultant and Head of the Economic Department at the French Embassy in Riyadh, says that, over the years, Saudi Arabia has always been a main target for French investors.
He adds that France is the third largest investor in the kingdom, with direct foreign investment of $15 billion. These investments have contributed to the employment of more than 30,000 people.
Gassmann’s statements came during the visit made by a high-level French delegation to the kingdom, Saudi-based Al Weam newspaper reports.
The delegation includes more than 300 officials and businessmen, who will be participating in the second Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum in Riyadh on October 12 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
During the forum, the delegation will discuss opportunities to hold new investments in both KSA and France, and empower new trade, industrial and sustainable projects, in addition to encouraging medium and big companies in the Saudi and French markets to exchange trade relations.
Gassmann points out big French companies know Saudi Arabia very well, but there are still small and medium enterprises that want to discover the kingdom for the first time. They consider Saudi Arabia a massive and suitable market to enhance long term relations.
Gassmann adds that Saudi investments in France are focused on luxurious hotels, real estate and agriculture.
He hopes for more future investments between Saudi Arabia and France in other economic fields in order to achieve balance in investments in KSA and France.
He adds that the value of Saudi foreign direct investments in France are still low (they do not exceed $1 billion), but it is possible to increase this figure, especially in the French technology field.
($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)