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Saudi Arabia Seeks New Markets, Promising Investments in Africa

Saudi Arabia Seeks New Markets, Promising Investments in Africa

Wednesday, 16 March, 2022 - 09:00
Saudi Minister of Commerce, Majid al-Qasabi during the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Commerce, Majid al-Qasabi underscored the Kingdom's readiness to support cooperative efforts to achieve economic and social development in Arab and African countries.

Speaking at the 3rd meeting of the Governance Council of the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program (Jusoor) in Cairo, Qasabi stressed that Vision 2030 seeks to open new markets and promising investments, drawing attention to the Kingdom's historical stances and confirming its interest in Africa.

He said Africa is rich in its natural and human resources and its prominent geographical location, making it suitable for investments, despite the challenges its countries face in infrastructure, environment, investment, and trade barriers.

Africa boasts about 60 percent of the world's minerals, allowing the Jusoor program an opportunity to identify and confront these challenges, work to open markets further, and exchange intra-trade between Arab and African countries, announced Qasabi.

He praised the initiative to support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) led by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation of the Islamic Development Bank in partnership with the World Trade Organization and the African Economic Commission, citing other initiatives led by the institution.

Meanwhile, Gambian Trade Minister, Seedy Keita revealed that Riyadh and Banjul seek to sign new enhanced bilateral agreements in trade and human resources, focusing on agriculture, transport, and tourism.

Both sides want to sign an agreement to employ Gambian workers in the Saudi labor market, said Keita, stressing that his government had clearly announced its support for Saudi Arabia to host the Expo 2030.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat during his recent visit to Riyadh that the Saudi government enjoys solid diplomatic support from Gambia at all international forums.

Regarding his visit to Saudi Arabia, Keita explained that he is seeking to boost trade relations between the two countries.

Gambia's total imports from Saudi Arabia amounted to less than $500,000 annually, and the volume of exports is much less, said the minister, adding that his visit aims to increase the volume of trade, tourism, and human resources.

Keita believes that the two countries have a great political will to invest in their relations in various ways.

The minister concluded that AfCFTA is a massive opportunity for any form of investment in Gambia and will enable investors to access a regional market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.

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