AMSTERDAM, Asharq Al-Awsat – Nineteen manufacturers and two engineering companies expressed their intent to set up manufacturing or a local presence in Saudi Arabia after a two-day meeting here to discuss trade, commercial and investment relations between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.
Waleed A. AlKhereiji, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Netherlands, and Nicolaas Beets, of the Dutch Embassy in Saudi Arabia, invited more than 100 Dutch and Saudi oil and gas sector suppliers, manufacturers and service providers to the headquarters of host ABN AMRO for Gateway 2006.
After an introduction by Beets, the Dutch delegates, representing leading Dutch oil and gas industry suppliers, heard about business opportunities in the Kingdom. According to the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), investment opportunities are worth $624 billion in sectors such as petrochemicals, natural gas, tourism, desalination, power generation and railways.
Abdul-Wahab A. Al-Sa’adoon, director general of SAGIA, said the Saudi government has created a positive environment for investment and business in Saudi Arabia’s energy sector. Brad Bourland, chief economist of the SAMBA financial group, explained why the Saudi economic boom is attractive for Dutch businesses.
Tom Lind, head of Structured Finance/Syndications for Saudi Hollandi Bank, presented landmark Saudi deals and opportunities for Dutch companies, and Khalid A. Abdulkarim, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Saudi Chambers, detailed local investment opportunities.
Abdalhafidh M. Nagshabandi, managing director of Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC), the Saudi Aramco affiliate based in Leiden, the Netherlands, discussed the ambitious projects and materials requirements planned by Saudi Aramco and its joint venture partners in the oil, gas, refining and petrochemical sectors over the next five years.
On the second day, Dutch delegates met with leading Saudi oil and gas businesses to discuss opportunities in the Kingdom. The Saudi companies included A.A. Al-Turki Corp., Saudi Arabian Development Co., Abdul Hadi Al-Qahtani and Partners, Al-Abdulkarim Trading Establishment, Al-Zamil Group, Abdullah Fouad Group of Companies and the Al-Turki Group.
AOC purchasing agent Gerard Woudenberg met Dutch delegates to discuss commodity supply, new-source supply and potential business partnerships with AOC and Saudi Aramco.
Ambassador Alkhereiji closed by encouraging Saudi Aramco, AOC and the Saudi businesses to keep developing the Kingdom’s strong international imprint in both energy and non-energy sectors of the economy.