FII has become main pillar for assessing investment event in world: Pouille

October 27, 2021

RIYADH — French Ambassador Ludovic Pouille referred to the deep relations linking France with Saudi Arabia, describing them as rich, long-standing and based on trust, where partnerships between the two countries have been established at all levels out of agreeing on the international scene and the mutual interests.

Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), he said: "Saudi-French ties grew on permanent consensus between the two leaderships, and my memory always recalls the trusted ties that grew between King Faisal and Gen. de Gaulle after their meeting on June 2, 1967, and the meeting King Fahd had with President Francois Mitterrand."

The ambassador also said that this relation has reached new strategic steps over the past few years, especially after signing a strategic partnership between the two countries during the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense, to Paris in 2018.

He said, "The recent visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Saudi Arabia during which he met with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman stressed these ties.” He added, “We feel the energy in all our partnerships that revive French-Saudi cooperation in all fields included in the Saudi Vision 2030".

In conjunction with hosting the Future Investment Initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ambassador noted that the initiative, after five years of its launch, has become a main pillar for assessing investment events in the world.

He pointed out that the international magnitude of this event has contributed to opening the way for it to promote its economy for a wide audience of international investors in a bid to realize Saudi Vision 2030.

He noted that the French representation in the fifth edition of the initiative will be at a high level, whereas heads of French companies have accepted the invitation to attend this important event.

The French ambassador also commended the launch of Crown Prince Muhammad’s Saudi Green Initiative and Middle East Green Initiative, which both included ambitious efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and protect the biodiversity, and develop alternative resources for energy, such as renewable energy.

He also congratulated Saudi Arabia on its ambitions to reach 50% of renewable energy in the total energy mix by 2030 and become a free of carbon emissions country by 2060.

He also voiced France's support for Saudi Arabia to develop other kinds of energy with low carbon content, noting that there are several French companies working on important projects in the renewable energy field, such as EDF company for renewable energy.

He added that there are other French companies that are willing to keep pace with this transition in the energy field in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Pouille stressed that France's strategic ambitions enjoy absolute accord with those of Saudi Arabia, where the environmental element is a main pillar to secure sustainable development for the economies and ambitions of the two countries.

As for the economic and commercial ties between the two countries, he noted that both countries enjoy firm economic relations with real elements to enhance this cooperation, noting that France keeps around 3.5 percent in the supply market out of the total Saudi imports since 10 years ago, where France is the seventh biggest importer for Saudi Arabia.

The number of French companies in Saudi Arabia stands at around 120 with a total French direct investment volume of $5 billion.

The ambassador also voiced pride in cooperation at the antiquities level, saying: "We are very proud to celebrate this year 20 years of Saudi-French cooperation in the antiquities field, where the first agreement signed dates back to 2001 after signing an antiquities excavation protocol in Hegra.”

He said: "I was impressed by the vividness in each part of the Saudi society, especially among the youths who work hard for the future the Kingdom, and I am very happy to speak about this joyful experience that I am living here and about the Saudis' interest and love of France". — SPA

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