JCCI, Russian Economic Federation sign joint cooperation pact

A three-day Saudi-Russian business forum and exhibition, which includes the latest Russian products, opened under the banner «New Horizons of Trade and Economic Cooperation» at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Sunday.

During the forum, the JCCI signed an agreement for joint cooperation with officials of the Russian Economic Federation.

Mazen Batterjee, the JCCI vice president, on behalf of the JCCI president, inaugurated the forum in the presence of Ambassador Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Tayeb, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Makkah region; Mustafa Ahmed Kamal Sabri, the JCCI Secretary-General; Vladimir Evtushenkov, president of the Arab Russian Business Council; S. Kuznetsov, the Russian Consul General, and a large number of businessman and entrepreneurs. The forum is being held with a view to developing investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in the Kingdom and assisting in contract deals and joint ventures in various fields.

«Saudi Arabia and the Arab world with the general cooperation of Russia stand by Arab rights and support the struggle of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate rights in building an independent state,» said Al-Tayeb.

He also said that there has been significant improvement in Saudi-Russian relations because of the special care taken by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev.

Russian economic delegations have visited the Kingdom and a series of mutual visits between officials and representatives of the two countries have led to strong growth in relations and increased cooperation in all aspects that serve the interests of both countries.

«There are still many opportunities that require more effort and work from both sides so that relations can be taken to the highest levels in a variety of areas,» Al-Tayeb said.

«There is no doubt that our meeting is a historic opportunity to build bridges of economic cooperation for the benefit of our two countries and the common good of the two brotherly peoples. We can rely on over two thousand years of friendship,» said Mazen Batterjee.

Recently, favorable conditions have been created for the development of relations in the field of trade and economic and scientific cooperation. The coming stage will witness new developments and mutual visits between the leaders of the two countries, as there are common aspects of bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia economically and politically, he added. «We need to remove obstacles that stand in the way so that we can have a better relationship and trade between the two countries, as we believe that the private sector in both countries is encouraged to work in order to remove procedural and organizational constraints and minimize technical difficulties regarding the movement of goods between the two countries in areas, such as transportation and shipping, visas, and bank transfers,» Batterjee said.

«There is ample opportunity through this forum for Russian investors to become acquainted with investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and for Saudi businessmen to learn about the Russian economy and business opportunities there,» he added.

«We open the doors to all our friends to work and provide their expertise in important areas, it is important here to stress that we managed to deal with the global financial crisis that has affected many economies in the world. We have a strong banking system which is based on a solid foundation, and there is a clear rebound in the Saudi economy to reverse the crisis occurring in the world,» he said .

Common aspects of bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Russia exist economically and politically, he added.

He urged Saudi businessmen to open up markets and create giant projects in the two countries.

By Fouzia Khan, Saudi Gazette, October 20, 2009