Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih announced that the developed Saudi-Thai road map would be further boosted by the new investments in tourism, healthcare, industry, and manufacturing operations.
The Ministry of Investment in Riyadh organized the Saudi-Thai Investment Forum, with the participation of the Minister of Investment, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, and Minister of Industry Bandar al-Khorayef.
It also included a wide range of representatives of government agencies, the Federation of Saudi Chambers, and private sector representatives from the two countries.
Falih said that the Forum aims to advance economic relations between the two countries to broader horizons, as they enjoy vast investment and trade opportunities and significant human and natural resources.
In light of Vision 2030, he noted that Saudi Arabia has developed the business environment by implementing a large package of reforms that exceeded 500 reforms, including enacting regulations and legislation per international best practices.
He called on investors and leading Thai companies to visit the Kingdom and get acquainted with investment opportunities in all sectors, as the Kingdom has a competitive and attractive environment that provides opportunities with rewarding returns for investors.
Falih said the Forum comes as an extension of relations after the meeting of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha earlier this year.
Addressing the Forum in Riyadh, Falih said the two countries' leaderships agreed in advance to establish a clear roadmap, and that the partnerships have promising opportunities according to the Vision 2030, which includes the most extensive economic package in the history of the Saudi economy.
Last year, the Crown Prince revealed ambitious and bold initiatives through the Kingdom's strategy announced by the Crown Prince last year, said the Minister.
He indicated that the Crown Prince announced that the Kingdom would spend more in the coming years than it did during the past 300 years combined.
Saudi Arabia announced $3.5 trillion in its investments.
Tourism and Hospitality
Falih acknowledged that the ambitious Thai plan allows the state to make a qualitative leap to a high level of development and investment by building value-added industries following Thailand's policy of a circular carbon economy.
He pointed out that tourism covers more than 60 percent of Thailand's GDP.
Saudi Arabia is working on expanding tourism and increasing the flow of tourists annually, noting that the goal is to reach 100 million visitors by 2030.
Falih indicated that Thailand had achieved a massive increase in visitors and investment opportunities for partnerships in various fields, including hotels, hospitality, tourism sectors, events, and related services.
Saudi Arabia will work to facilitate investment opportunities for the two countries, including Ad Diriyah.
Falih indicated that the automotive industry, services, and production in Thailand are the 11th internationally in the investment sector.
Saudi Arabia is currently the most prominent car market, without a production volume, but this will change, asserted the Minister, announcing that King Abdullah Economic City will launch the first project of a complex for auto parts and manufacturing in the Kingdom.
By 2025, the Kingdom will be manufacturing many electric cars that will be exported suggesting Thailand's participation in the Saudi car market.
Falih noted that there seem to be substantial investment opportunities in the automotive sector for both countries, especially since Thailand's bold plans with its shipping and production station.
He stressed a Saudi intention to work with Thailand to stimulate this sector to establish frameworks in the Kingdom by assembling and manufacturing auto parts.
The Minister indicated that Saudi Arabia is working to boost its energy and oil sectors, adding that the Kingdom is a pioneer in green energy, especially since it adopted a circular carbon economy during its presidency of the G20.
He explained that the Saudi National Transport Strategy aims to stimulate companies to boost the Kingdom's competitiveness, use energy at a lower cost, link it to market requirements, and increase the level of the workforce and raw materials such as chemicals, aluminum, and other materials that are the backbone of the industry.
Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ajlan al-Ajlan stressed that the global economy is facing challenging times that have caused inflation and impacted global supply chains.
Ajlan noted that the situation also affected the overall economic relations between countries, which requires more cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Trade exchange reached $7.1 billion in 2021, a 29 percent increase from the previous year, but it is not commensurate with the available economic capabilities and opportunities.
He stressed the need to increase joint economic activities and boost trade and investment partnerships between the two countries.
The Forum is part of the two sides' efforts to develop relations between them and explores the prospects for investment and trade opportunities in all fields, as it witnessed remarkable participation of the Saudi and Thai investors and pioneering companies.