Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan Business Forums

On November 12, 2007 Riyadh hosted a forum of Russian and Saudi business circles, which was organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Russian-Arab Business Council together with the Council of CCI of Saudi Arabia in which Russian President Vladimir Putin took part. Speaking before the representatives of the business circles, the President pointed out that “the Russian-Arab Business Council has become an efficient interlink between business communities of our countries. It is an example of a productive social initiative, which is leaving behind the state structures, and brings our countries considerable and concrete benefit. That is why we shall support such initiatives by all possible means”.

Within the framework of the forum, an open discussion between Mr. Putin and the Saudi businessmen took place. They asked the President of Russia whether it was possible to establish a Saudi-Russian bank which would promote mutual investing of the two countries and control the financial flows. Vladimir Putin answered that there were no obstacles for it, but why should this initiative be put off – Saudi Arabia already had every opportunity to enter the Russian financial market. “The doors are open. No one can prevent Saudi financial organizations from just starting their direct financial activities in the Russian Federation. The Russian legislation allows to do this. Affiliate banks with 100% Saudi capital can be established. And I’m sure the Saudi financial organizations’ activities in Russia will attract a lot of attention. The market of financial services in Russia is developing”.

Speaking about the space, Vladimir Putin said: “Our rocket carriers have already put in orbit seven Saudi satellites. Putting six more satellites is planned. But we want more. Some of our colleagues and including Europe sometimes face problems even with the timely launch of spaceships. I think that in this context a prospective direction is connecting Saudi Arabia to the satellite navigation system which we are intensively, as I said, implementing in a speeded up manner – the GLONASS system.”

The forum contained the round tables “Investment and Banking”, “Transport, Hotel Business, Tourism and Exhibitions”, “Construction, Infrastructure, Industry”, “Oil and Gas Sphere” and the 5th Joint Session of the Russian-Saudi Business Council. An important step was the signing of a contract between the Federal State Establishment “Emercom” of the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergencies of the Russian Federation and the Saudi company “Alagat” that was related to organizing the first exhibition of Russian products and services which was to be held in Riyadh in the end of May 2008. The signing ceremony was attended by the Russian Minister of Transport H.E. I.E.Levitin.

On February 12, 2007 in the City of Doha, the capital of Qatar, in the Emir’s palace the signing of an agreement on the establishment of the Russian-Qatari Business Council took place within the framework of the official program of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit. On behalf of the Russian side, the agreement was signed by the Chairman of the Russian-Arab Business Council, the Chairman of the Board of JSFC “Sistema” H.E. Vladimir Evtushenkov.

On February 13, 2007 Doha hosted the first Russian-Qatari business forum timed to the summit that had been held the day before. On behalf of the Russian side, the summit was co-chaired by Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation H.E. Aslambek Aslakhanov, on behalf of the Qatari side – by Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Qatar H.E. Khalifa Al Tani. Within the framework of the forum, the Qatari businessmen presented their investment projects, the Russian participants told about the activities of their companies and made the corresponding presentations. On the same day the two Co-Chairmen – Timur Timerbulatov and Nasser Al-Mir led the first joint session of the Russian-Qatari Business Council.

On February 13, 2007 in the City of Amman, the capital of Jordan, an agreement on the establishment of the Russian-Jordanian Business Council was signed and its first joint session took place. The signatures were put by the Chairman of the Board of JSC “Sistema-Invest” H.E. E.G.Novitsky and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Jordan H.E. Haider Murad. Minister of Industry and Trade of Jordan H.E. Salem Khazaaleh led the meeting of the businessmen of the two countries.