Saudi-UAE Business Forum in Riyadh highlights investment opportunities

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The forum kicked off on Thursday in the presence of officials and representatives of governmental agencies and investors from both sides. (SPA)
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The forum kicked off on Thursday in the presence of officials and representatives of governmental agencies and investors from both sides. (SPA)
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The forum kicked off on Thursday in the presence of officials and representatives of governmental agencies and investors from both sides. (SPA)
Updated 01 February 2019
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Saudi-UAE Business Forum in Riyadh highlights investment opportunities

  • Global economic challenges require us to redouble efforts, create investment environment: Al-Qassabi
  • The forum kicked off in the presence of officials and representatives of government and investors from both sides

RIYADH: The second Saudi-UAE Business Forum was held on Thursday in Riyadh. Participants discussed various ways to enhance potential investment and commercial ties between the two countries across different sectors.

The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) organized the forum in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The forum was attended by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al-Mansouri, CSC Chairman Sami Al-Obaidi, and Vice President of the UAE Chambers Abdullah Sultan Al-Owais, along with around 200 Saudi and Emirati businesspeople.

Speaking at the opening session, Al-Qassabi said that the forum is an extension of the directives of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council, and stressed the long-standing friendly relationship between the two countries.

He noted that both countries are focused on sustainable growth, adding that the forum has contributed to the opening up of investment opportunities and opportunities for the private sector.

“We look forward to creating more opportunities, with an emphasis on what is going on in the international market,” he said, and stressed that the global economic challenges of today require both the public and private sectors to redouble their efforts to create a fruitful trading and investment environment.

Al-Qassabi expressed his hope that the forum would lead to initiatives that will contribute to further strengthening the partnership between the two countries to serve their common interests and help their economies grow.

In his speech, Al-Mansouri highlighted the importance of the forum, and of enhancing economic relations between the two countries.

“In recent years, we have taken great strides in uniting energies and enhancing integration with unlimited support from the wise leadership in our two countries, and with a clear vision expressed in the strategy and outcomes of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council,” he said, referring to a council that met for the first time in Jeddah last year and set out a five-year plan consisting of 44 joint projects in an initiative called the Strategy of Resolve.

Al-Mansouri went on to say that the forum provides a platform to discuss bilateral cooperation, focusing on effective contributions from the private sector.

The UAE minister echoed Al-Qassabi’s statement that the economic challenges facing the world today make it more necessary than ever for countries to work together to strengthen partnerships.

The CSC chairman said that the economy is the most “fundamental and influential engine” in Saudi-UAE relations. Al-Obaidi pointed out that the economic relationship between the Kingdom and the UAE is the largest between any two GCC countries. Trade between the two was worth $24 billion in 2017, he noted, adding that the UAE is one of the Kingdom’s most important trading partners — the third largest importer and sixth largest exporter to and from Saudi Arabia.

For his part, Al-Owais stressed the vital role that the business sector plays in both countries.

Following the opening ceremony, the forum was divided into two sessions. The first discussed opportunities for Saudi investors in the UAE, while the second discussed investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, highlighting various Vision 2030 projects including Neom and Qiddiya.


Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

Updated 16 min 9 sec ago
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Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

  • Cautious mood among investors as fears of military confrontation rise

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf extended losses on Sunday reflecting a cautious mood among investors following last week’s oil tanker attacks. 

The attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday raised fears of a military confrontation in a vital shipping route for global oil supply and heightened tensions between Iran and the US, which have been in a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. 

The Saudi index had dropped 1.6 percent on Thursday and fell a further 0.6 percent on Sunday after slight gains in early trade. Most Saudi banks were down, despite Sunday’s announcement by Saudi British Bank that its merger with Alawwal Bank was completed. 

HIGHLIGHTS

• Gulf stocks reverse early gains.

• Gulf of Oman tanker attacks dampen investor mood.

• Saudi banks mostly down despite SABB-Alawwal merger.

The two banks have combined to create the country’s third largest lender, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. SABB’s shares shed 0.1 percent. Alinma Bank, however, gained 0.4 percent, and was one of the stocks registering the highest trading volume on Sunday. 

In the UAE, the Dubai and Abu Dhabi indexes fell 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The Dubai market had risen earlier in the day, boosted by DAMAC Properties and Union Properties, which closed up 2.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. But heavyweight Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the emirate, fell 2.5 percent, weighing on the index. 

Dubai’s telecom operator Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co) shed 0.4 percent, reversing earlier gains, after it said the UAE sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority had increased its stake by buying 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments. 

In Abu Dhabi, blue chip companies Aldar Properties, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution, led losses, dragging down the main index. The other Gulf markets were all in the red, except for the Bahrain index, which rose slightly. 

In Egypt, the index gained 0.2 percent, boosted by a 4.5 percent gain by Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investments. The company said one of its divisions, Arab Dairy Products, had received a letter of intent from a Netherlands based company about a plan to buy it.