By Staff writer
Saudi billionaire met with Greek prime minister and his government in Athens
Saudi billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin
Talal has met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens to discuss
investment opportunities in the struggling Mediterranean country.
chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), met with
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of Greece and the representatives of the Greek
government in Athens.
During the meeting, Alwaleed and Samaras discussed
the warm friendship between Saudi Arabia and Greece and referred to a number of
economic and social issues, Arab News reported.
The prince congratulated Samaras and his government
on the current status of the Greek economy, which is expected to show signs of
recovery later this year.
Alwaleed, who is chairman of Kingdom Holding
Company (KHC) and has investments in well-known brands such as Citigroup, Rupert
Murdoch's News Corp and microblogging site Twitter, discussed possible investments
in Greece with the Athens delegation.
Samaras said his country would welcome further
investment from the prince, especially in the hospitality sector, Arab News
The meeting comes says after the UAE announced the
launch of a $9.75bn investment project in Greece which will include the
redevelopment of a former Athens airport.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's
Foreign Minister, said in comments published by news agency WAM on Tuesday that Abu Dhabi-based Al
Maabar International Investment will execute the multi-phase project.
Sheikh Abdullah said the project is expected, when
complete, to generate more than 50,000 job opportunities.
The 6.2m square metre site will be developed
over a number of years, with work expecting to begin in 2016.
Its built up area of approximately 3m sqm will
include retail, residential, leisure, hotels and office space. The development
offers 3.5km of coastline and a 2m sqm metropolitan park, which will be one of
the world's largest.
Sheikh Abdullah also announced that Abu Dhabi
Investment Council had made a bid for acquiring the luxury Astir Palace Resort,
Athens, and that Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Greece's Terna Energy
would sign a framework agreement for exploring potential investment
opportunities in the energy sector in Greece.
The minister announced the multi-billion dollar
developments during his opening remarks at the second meeting of the UAE-Greece
Joint Ministerial Committee in Athens, which he co-chaired with Greek Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Evangelos Venizelo.
In his speech, Sheikh Abdullah emphasised that the
UAE was eager to boost its economic, investment and trade relations with
"Greece is one of the key partners for the
UAE, and I would like to confirm that the second meeting of the joint committee
provides a precious opportunity to strengthen and leverage bilateral ties and
to present practical ideas and solutions that could help in removing any
obstacles hindering progress of these ties," he said.