DiplomaticQuarter: Finnish ambassador keen to further strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir meets Antti Rytovuori. (SPA/File)
Updated 01 November 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Finnish ambassador keen to further strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia

  • Focus of stronger Finnish-Saudi cooperation are on health and education are the main areas

RIYADH: The new Finnish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Antti Rytovuori, praised the friendly relations between the two countries as he began his assignment in Riyadh, and expressed his hopes to further bolster bilateral ties.

“I was appointed as the new ambassador of Finland to Saudi Arabia last month,” he said. “My first two weeks in Riyadh have been very busy and I am extremely glad to witness the strong ties between Finland and Saudi Arabia in many sectors.”

Rytovuori added that health and education are the main areas in which the nations have focused on increasing ties and cooperation between the administrations, institutions and private enterprises providing specific solutions in their respective sectors.

“We have a lot of potential to learn from each other,” the envoy said, adding that in addition to these two emerging sectors, Finland and the Kingdom are engaged in strong, long-term technological cooperation in many other areas, including information and communications technology and machinery, and he looks forward to further enhancing these partnerships.

“After paying a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present the copies of my credentials,” he added, “I have received my first ministerial visit from Finland, when Finnish Minister of Health Pirkko Mattila visited the Kingdom in mid-September.” She was accompanied by a commercial delegation representing 15 heath-sector companies to bolster cooperation.

Rytovuori was born on Feb. 9, 1960, in Helsinki, and has a master’s degree in economics, a diploma in international trade, and is an alumnus of the Reserve Officer School. 

Before coming to Riyadh he was an assistant trade commissioner in the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles, an attache at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, second secretary at the embassy in Beijing, first secretary at the permanent mission in Geneva, a counsellor in the Asia and Oceania unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, director of the personnel planning unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ambassador in Rabat, Morocco, minister and deputy permanent representative at the permanent mission in Geneva and deputy inspector-general in the unit for internal audit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


FaceOf: Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, governor of KSA’s General Authority for Foreign Trade

Abdulrahman bin Ahmed bin Hamdan Al-Harbi
Updated 27 March 2019
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FaceOf: Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, governor of KSA’s General Authority for Foreign Trade

Abdulrahman bin Ahmed bin Hamdan Al-Harbi was appointed the governor of the General Authority for Foreign Trade following a royal decree issued on March 23. 

Previously, he had been the deputy minister of foreign trade since 2016. 

He has held many leadership positions in the financial and private banking sector, the most recent of which was serving as the chief executive officer of Emirates NBD KSA. 

Al-Harbi is a member of several boards of directors as well as local and international committees, including the board of directors of the Saudi Export Development Authority and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises. He is also the chairman of the Investment Committee, and represents the Kingdom on the board of directors of the Islamic Center for Trade Development.

He holds a bachelor of science in management information systems from the business school at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran. 

The General Authority for Foreign Trade aims to enhance the Kingdom’s international commercial and investment activities. It was established to consolidate Saudi Arabia’s position as a region and global trade hub.

One of the key goals of the authority is to ensure smooth access for Saudi non-oil exports in target markets by removing obstacles.