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Wed 17 Jun 2015 04:48 PM

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Top Saudi, Russian officials meet to discuss trade opportunities

Russian-Saudi Business Council Forum meeting part of highest level of bilateral trade discussions for years

Top Saudi, Russian officials meet to discuss trade opportunities
Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured).

Top-level officials from government and private sectors from the Saudi Arabia and Russia are set to meet in St Petersburg on Wednesday as part of the highest level of bilateral trade discussions between the two countries in years.

The meeting of the Russian-Saudi Business Council Forum coincides with a meeting between Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A trade delegation including Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will meet with key Russian counterparts to explore the growing investment potential between the two countries.

The Forum follows the Russian Business Week organized earlier this year alongside the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia.

The delegation taking place from June 17-19 will include several high-level meetings and will see Abdullatif Al-Othman, the governor of SAGIA, and the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in attendance.

Al-Othman said: "We are keen to develop our already close-knit ties with Russia which remains one of our priority markets in terms of investor-potential. As an economy that is increasingly diversified, we are keen to grow internal sectors that have been classically domains of Russian expertise."

Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of Al-Zamil Group added: "Promoting cooperation between Russian and Saudi business is easier now than ever before. We welcome our Russian counterparts to the Kingdom to contribute the development of key economic sectors. The economic success of the kingdom is dependent on the development of Human Capital therefore such relationships are key the our overall economic plan."

Vladimir Evtushenkov, chairman of the Russian-Arab Business Council, said: "Russia has a brilliant opportunity to establish new ties with the Saudi side in agriculture, timber, high technologies, engineering, pharmaceutical products, oil and gas, telecommunications, and many other fields.

"Now that we have started a new era in Russia-Saudi relations, the time has come to turn to something real, to concrete projects. This is the only way to realize our ambitions and our potential."

In recent years Russia has been investing heavily in agriculture, lumber, banking and petrochemicals, while Saudi Arabian investors have been eyeing growth in the healthcare sector, transport, automotive, industrial waste management and renewable energy.

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