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Stuttgart seminar to draw investors in big numbers
Jeddah 22ed May 2001

 The Economics Ministry of the German state Baden-Wuertemberg is holding a seminar today on investment in Saudi Arabia. The seminar, entitled “A Business Day...Saudi Arabia” is expected to attract a large number of German businessmen and investors.

Taking place in Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Wuertemberg, the seminar comes after visits from Germany to Saudi Arabia by high-ranking delegations. The visits aimed at boosting cooperation in industrial, investment and business fields of mutual interest. Earlier attempts along the same lines were made by both governments but enthusiasm remained low.

Sulyman Al-Sayarri, secretary-general of  the Saudi-German Economic Liaison Office (SAGECO), told Arab News: “This seminar is very important and comes as a result of a series of visits by German officials in recent years. The seminar is especially significant in that it is an initiative from the local government and not a political decision by the federal government.”

He continued, “This step shows that the interest of officials who have visited the Kingdom is increasing; they have realized the importance of the Saudi market and the potential for industrial and business opportunities in the region.”

Al-Sayarri described the seminar as “educational” and said it would provide information for German businessmen and investors concerning opportunities in the Kingdom.

Analysts describe the relationship between the Kingdom and Germany as “strong and stable but limited.”   Germany’s economy, the strongest of the 12 euro countries, depends largely on production and exports. The 16 German states, each with a large infrastructure, vary in their business interests depending mainly on skilled labor and existing traditional firms. Baden-Wuertemberg, for example, is one of the four richest states and is the headquarters for Mercedes Benz. In addition, small- and medium-size enterprises play an important role in boosting the economy by creating some 80 percent of the jobs in the market.

Germany has about 3.8 million small- and medium-size enterprises.

Commented Werner Lauk, charge d’affaires at the German Embassy in Riyadh: “It is very important that small- and medium-size enterprises are the main sources for creating jobs. And we hope that with more of these enterprises operating in the Kingdom, more jobs can be created which would also respond to the long-term strategy of the Saudi authorities.”

Source: Arab News©
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