Many international marine companies have expressed a desire to build alliances with their Saudi counterparts, and enter the local market, thanks to the facilities and incentives provided by the government to foreign capital, and the availability of giant future projects in the maritime sector.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, experts and leaders in the maritime industry noted that international companies would seek to open their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia, and closely follow up and manage their projects, in view of the available opportunities and the clear roadmap set within Saudi Vision 2030.
Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping from 2016 till 2022, said that Saudi Arabia was witnessing a significant leap in the development of its ports, adding that the country was a candidate to become a new global maritime hub.
He stressed that the facilities and incentives provided by the government for foreign investors would encourage international companies to build alliances and partnerships with their local counterparts.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Saudi Maritime Conference, which is currently being held in Dammam (eastern Saudi Arabia) – Poulsson pointed to the importance of the event in terms of presenting opportunities to leaders and experts of the maritime sector worldwide.
Jasmine Fichte, managing partner of Fichte & Co., an international law firm, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the new legal drafting in the maritime sector in Saudi Arabia was a first step of its kind in the region, surpassing many countries in the Middle East.
The country’s government has been keen on investing heavily in the marine industry and restructuring assets throughout the year, in order to attract foreign investors, she added.
“Participating in the conference is an opportunity to transfer expertise, train and work together, meet law firms and their representatives who have a passion and interest in maritime law, and work to build constructive partnerships with Saudi institutions,” Fichte stated.
For his part, Waleed Al-Tamimi, Director General of the Emirates Classification Society, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the importance of the conference is in raising awareness of all marine activities, whether commercial, safety and quality.
He added that the conference brought together experts from all countries of the world to raise sensitive issues in the maritime sector, meet with international companies and leaders in the field, and exchange views and experiences.