Maurer will also visit the UAE during his four-day trip to the Gulf region. Jorg Gasser, Switzerland’s state secretary for international financial matters, is accompanying him and the delegation includes representatives from around a dozen Swiss financial institutions active in Middle East markets.
“It is important to underline that Saudi Arabia is an important market for Swiss financial service providers outside Europe,” said Maurer in a statement here on Saturday.
“As a result, Swiss financial institutions have a strong presence in the Saudi markets; hence, my visit to Saudi Arabia aims to strengthen cooperation on financial-sector issues and open discussions with Saudi Arabia on facilitating and improving the conditions for providing cross-border financial services between our jurisdictions in particular,” he continued. “Furthermore, it contributes to pave the way for financial dialogues between the two states on bilateral and international issues.”
The Swiss vice president further said that Switzerland and Saudi Arabia have a long history of strong bilateral relations and substantial economic exchange. He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of Switzerland’s most important trading partners in the Middle East, citing the fact that Swiss exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to SR7.2 billion last year, while its imports from the Kingdom totaled SR2.3 billion.
During his stay in Riyadh, the Swiss finance minister will hold talks with his Saudi counterpart Mohammed Al-Jadaan, and will meet top officials from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the Capital Market Authority, and the Public Investment Fund.
The talks will take place “in the context of Switzerland’s financial market policy for a competitive financial center,” said Peter Minder, communications head of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance.