Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and German Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Rosler will co-chair the joint economic commission (JEC) meeting tomorrow.
“This will be the 18th meeting of the Saudi-German Joint Commission, which will primarily focus on ways and means to boost cooperation in various sectors,” said German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller.
Haller said high-level officials and top business leaders from the two countries would attend the meeting.
The two sides will discuss cooperation in all major areas of the economy, including health care, fossil fuel and renewable energy, transportation, education and training, waste management and agriculture, the envoy added.
Rosler is also scheduled to meet other Saudi officials during his stay in Riyadh.
In addition, Rosler will visit some German investment and cooperation projects in the Saudi capital, said Haller, while giving details of the visit of the German minister.
He said: “Saudi Arabia is a very important partner for Germany and the ministerial visit is intended to develop, strengthen and intensify relations between the two countries.” Saudi Arabia, which is a leading player in regional and global affairs, is also a member of the G20, he noted.
Referring to the progressively growing relations between Riyadh and Berlin, Haller said: “Clearly, German companies are increasingly becoming aware of the enormous potential offered by the booming and rapidly growing Saudi market.”
There has been a 21 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, and there is definitely room for further growth. Moreover, the current year has already seen some major new German investment projects in Saudi Arabia, notably Siemens’ new gas turbine plant in Dammam, the envoy noted while referring to the direct and indirect presence of German companies in the Kingdom.
The ambassador said: “The German companies have a lot to offer in the areas prioritized by the Saudi government’s development strategy, like broadening the industrial base of the economy or achieving a new energy mix with a greater focus on renewable energy.” To this end, he pointed out that the two sides have evinced keen interest to boost trade and investment relations further. Exports from Germany to Saudi Arabia amounted to SR 34 billion in 2011 compared to SR 29 billion last year, he added.
German imports from Saudi Arabia totaled SR 4.5 billion in 2011 compared to SR 3.1 billion a year before.
The first months of 2012 have seen an upswing in the trade figures.
Along with this, there has also been a sharp rise in the number of Saudi businessmen and tourists visiting Germany of late.
This is evident from the 100 percent increase in the number of visa applications processed by the German embassy in the first five months of the current year compared to the first five months a year before.
By Arab News