For someone who has attended so many business forums involving Saudi and Turkiye, the one I attended last week was different.
Firstly, post winning the last election, this was the first trip for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers to the region, starting the Gulf Cooperation Council tour with Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea pride.
Secondly, the government’s delegation participated in governmental meetings and the business forum, a new mindset by the new government to help the private sector.
Thirdly, there was a keen interest from the Turkish private sector to explore and benefit from the opportunities offered by their counterparts in the Kingdom, evidenced by the presence of major companies’ chairmen and CEOs.
Following the gradual deterioration of its currency over the past few years and in order to boost its international currency reserves, the Turkish government has put the attraction of foreign investment at the top of its agenda.
The Ministry of Investment has created a record by organizing business forums almost every month with our counterparts in the G20 markets and other markets.
Apart from the five governmental memorandums of understanding — which have been signed by the respective ministers from both sides, focusing on defense and energy — nine memorandums were signed between the private sector from both sides in sectors including construction, education, developments, agribusiness, tourism, and others.
It is evident that the construction sector has taken the lion’s share in these agreements.
Saudi Aramco last month met major Turkish contractors to discuss $50 billion worth of potential projects in the Kingdom.
Murat Giray, CEO of Saudi Arabian Baytur Construction Co., said: “In line with the expanding relationship between the two countries, synergies utilizing the extensive Turkish construction expertise and capacity can be effectively employed in achieving the milestones of the Kingdom’s mega and giga-projects.”
Saudi Arabian Baytur Construction Co. is a case in point when discussing the strategic cooperation between the two countries. It was established in 2008 in Alkhobar as a foreign investment company by leading Saudi contractors and Baytur Insaat Taahhut, a leading construction company founded in 1976 by the mega-conglomerate Cukurova Group.
BMG Financial Group is advising Saudi Arabian Baytur Construction Co. in its further expansion in the Saudi market by inviting a value-added strategic partner.
It is worth noting that the Ministry of Investment has created a record by organizing business forums almost every month with our counterparts in the G20 markets and other markets.
From a private sector standpoint, I do not recall having such a frequency of high-quality and value-added business forums organized in the past.
I want to sincerely thank my dear brother Khalid Al-Falih, minister of investment, and his team for extending this invitation, and others.
• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.