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French see business opportunities in KSA

CONSTRUCTIVE VISIT: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris in this June 27 photo. (AFP)

JEDDAH: French media outlets unanimously agree that Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France on June 27-28 represented a turning point in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

During the visit, Prince Mohammed shared Vision 2030, the reform program he architected intending to diversify and develop the Saudi economy as well as rely on strategic partners of the Kingdom for its success.
French media agree the plan presents a valuable opportunity for French companies and skills to reach the Saudi market.
In light of the visit’s goals and objectives, French radio France Info said Vision 2030 is an integrated plan to reform the economy and eliminate dependence on oil, a plan not seen before, and includes indicators to measure the performance of ministries, which is lacking even in some developed countries.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is aimed at transforming the country into the “Digital Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” which explains the keenness of Prince Mohammed to meet with senior digital institutions and innovation companies during his state visits, according to the French newspaper Liberation. The paper pointed to the timing of the visit after visiting the United States during the holy month of Ramadan, which demonstrates the keenness to gain time and begin implementation of the plan.
French newspaper La Tribune said modernizing the Saudi economy provides promising opportunities for French companies and skills, especially those with activities in the new and renewable energy sector, as well as the minerals, agriculture, health and IT sectors.
The paper noted, however, that although economic diplomacy has been an important dimension in French diplomacy, it is up to French companies to establish successful partnerships with Saudi companies as Vision 2030 will make the private sector the vehicle for reform and repair.

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