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.


Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

Updated 20 February 2019
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Crown prince: Saudi investment in India to reach $100bn

  • Mohammed bin Salman says value of investments to increase rapidly over next two years
  • Modi praised relations between the two countries after signing cooperation agreements

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he expects Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will be worth $100 billion in the next two years.

During a press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said the Kingdom had invested $10 billion in technology and small companies in India which had “achieved very remarkable returns.”

Speaking on the second day of hist India visit, and after the signing of five agreements with Modi, the crown prince also said that there were many opportunities for India in Saudi Arabia.

“We expect that the opportunity we are developing in India in many fields will exceed 100 billion dollars over the next two years,” Prince Mohammed said. “We want to work as two governments to ensure these investments and achieve beneficial returns for both countries. 

“We also hope that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India will contribute to providing more opportunities for Indian laborers and manpower to contribute to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building the Kingdom's Vision 2030.”

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READ MORE: 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledges commitment to Saudi-Indian relations

Greeted with a hug: Saudi crown prince welcomed to India by PM Modi

Full Asia tour coverage 

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The crown prince spoke of the depth and history of relations between the two countries, acknowledging the role Indian labor and businesses had played in the Kingdom’s development.

He also said the economic partnerships were grounded in the two nation’s similar challenges - “extremism, terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean.”

He said Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in 2016 had achieved investments worth $44 billion in refining and petrochemicals.

The two countries planned to expand India’s oil storage capacity to make India an “important regional center in distributing oil and its products.”

"As a neighbor who guarantees suppying us with energy needs, the Kingdom is considered India's most important partner," Modi said. "We have enhanced our relations through establishing a strategic partnership."

The crown prince and Modi earlier oversaw the signing of agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, housing and information and broadcasting.

It was also announced that the Kingdom would join the International Solar Alliance, a group of countries focussed on improving solar technology.

Prince Mohammed then met a number of CEOs from India's leading businesses.

The crown prince arrived in India after a two-day trip to Pakistan as part of a tour of Asia.

Earlier he attended a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi after landing in the country on Tuesday evening.