EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Patrick Simonnet stressed that the relations between the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are strategic, close and longstanding, noting to the two sides' interest lies in modernizing and developing relations at the strategic and political levels, in addition to having several joint interests, such as fighting terrorism, green transformation in Europe, Saudi Vision 2030 and the commercial and investment ties.
The ambassador's remarks were made during a press conference held at the embassy's headquarters in Riyadh in the presence of the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Jaap Ora, and Head of Trade/Economy at the EU Delegation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Patrick Illing.
Ambassador Simonnet referred to the EU special strategy on the Gulf area, which will be launched next May, where its top pillars are trade and investment, noting that the EU is the biggest provider of direct foreign investment and the second biggest commercial partner to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He said: "The commercial ties between the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020 reached 40 billion euros and investments reached 20 billion euros," stressing that such figures highlight good interest and big benefits for companies of the two sides to benefit from these projects, and that there are plans and basic aspects, such as tourism, culture and energy.
He also noted that among the top pillars of the strategy are energy and combating climate change, saying: "We work with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reduce the severity and effects of climate change, and we praise Saudi Arabia's commitment during the 2020 COP 26 and its launching several relevant initiatives, including Middle East Green Initiative and Saudi Green Initiative, and I would like for us to benefit from all these initiatives launched by Saudi Arabia and its plan to become the biggest factory to produce clean energy."
The EU ambassador also referred to an important aspect related to working together to increase support directed to humanitarian relief, noting that the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia share the same ideas and institutions in this regard.
He also spoke about the direct contact among peoples, and expressed his astonishment of the social changes that are happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including women empowerment and increasing their participation in the labor force, saying: "We believe that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved goals beyond the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 in this field, and here we would like to look for means to help in realizing all these goals, in addition to cooperation in the higher education field, where we have scholarships in the EU program Erasmus Plus."
Concluding his speech, he referred to the security aspect, saying: "We and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia share the same values and interests in realizing security in the region and the world."
Ambassador Simonnet also announced the Europe month event that is scheduled to be launched on May 9, 2022, which will include diversified events in addition to participating in the higher education exhibition.
Last Modified Date: 15/03/2022 - 3:03 PM Saudi Arabia Time
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