Saudi Arabia and Luxembourg signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation in Riyadh yesterday.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the eighth Euromoney Conference, which was opened by Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf.
The accord was inked between Al-Assaf and Grand Duchy Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden at the conference hall of the Faisaliah Hotel here. Saudi Ambassador in Brussels Faisal H. Trad was also present during the signing ceremony.
Following the signing ceremony, Frieden told Arab News that the agreement would pave the way for more financial services for expanding trade between the two countries.
Dwelling on the trade potentials of the country, the visiting minister said that Luxembourg is the largest financial center in the euro zone. "Because of our vibrant economy, we withstood the economic problems which affected most of the countries in Europe," he added.
"Our public finance is stable and our mutual fund has been second in the the world after the United States," he said.
Answering a question, he said Luxembourg is the first country in the region to host Shariah-compliant Insurance Scheme in the country. "We have sukuk funds and we do have Shariah-compliant financial services that could be offered to Saudi investors," he added.
Describing the Kingdom as an active player in the G20 as well as in the world, he said Luxembourg would be privileged to deal with investors from the Kingdom.
"This is a good opportunity for the private sector in the two countries to make their investments for mutual benefits since they will be exempted from taxes under the newly signed agreement," Trad told Arab News.
Trad explained that the Kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East, while Luxembourg remains Europe's gateway to investments. "It is an important financial center in Europe with some 130 banks actively participating in the economy of the country," he said.
The envoy added that the bilateral trade, which mainly involves financial services, is estimated to be around SR 6 billion. He stated that his mission gives Saudi entry visas within 24 hours and business executives of Luxembourg are given multiple entry visa for one year to enter the Kingdom.
He recalled that Luxembourg is a country, which started Islamic banking long before.