KHOBAR: Business France recently organized the “French Saudi Maritime Days” symposium in Alkhobar, under the patronage of the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) and the French Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Business France is responsible for fostering export growth and facilitating international investment in France.
Exchanges on the contribution of French companies to the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a logistics hub between Asia, Africa and Europe as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 were held at the symposium.
Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to the Kingdom, inaugurated the event and said relations between the Kingdom and France were historic and expanding to cover all sectors.
He added: “France is a global maritime player of the 21st century. It is present on board the oceans and we are the second largest maritime power in the world.
“We are concerned about everything related to marine environments and we want to promote innovative blue growth.
“We can be stronger, smarter and also greener. We want to further strengthen our investments with our Saudi partners and increase our sharing of cooperation to the benefit of both our countries.
“This event allows us to capitalize on this alignment by taking proactive measures to foster robust and sustainable trade cooperation in order to also strengthen Franco-Saudi relations in this area.
“This maritime symposium will also help to position French companies as major players on three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa).”
Saudi ports were currently among the fastest in the world in terms of cargo handling, with their capacity increasing, Mawani President Omar Hariri said.
Jesper Stenbak, senior vice president of shipping company CMA CGM’s Dubai regional office, said: “The Franco-Saudi Maritime Days are an excellent opportunity for the CMA CGM Group to interact with the official authorities and industry players of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The country’s maritime sector is particularly dynamic, and CMA CGM supports its clients by offering more direct services and increasing capacity by deploying additional vessels.”