Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, met Friday with the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, where he reiterated that the Saudi delegation’s visit to Helsinki resulted in the two sides’ agreement to cooperate in several fields. These included education and training, research and development, start-ups and innovation, sustainable technologies, sustainable mining, smart cities, and logistics solutions, among others.
During the visit, which spanned over the past 4 days, Dr. Al-Qasabi held a series of bilateral meetings with several Finnish ministers that dealt with strengthening bilateral relations, developing trade exchange, and promising investment opportunities in logistics services, cooperation, and partnership in education, training, and innovation. This is in addition to a meeting with Tommi Oito, the President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, which focused on the regulatory reforms that will accelerate investments in telecommunications infrastructure, especially those related to broadband, wireless networks, network security, and artificial intelligence, and the Kingdom's measures to accelerate its digital growth, and digital infrastructure.
Dr. Al-Qasabi. in addition, held meetings with representatives of technology companies working in artificial intelligence and its various applications, games, and E-sports. Dr. Al-Qasabi visited the Omnia Educational Foundation, which promotes lifelong learning support to achieve sustainable development goals, while the Saudi delegation visited multiple leading companies and innovation centers where they were briefed on the most prominent trends and practices of Finland in various fields,
The delegation, in addition, signed five memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between the two sides, while also participating in the Saudi-Finnish forum organized by "Business Finland" in cooperation with the Federation of Saudi Chambers. Dr. Al-Qasabi stressed on Thursday evening the need to strengthen the economic partnership and expand and diversify bilateral trade between the two countries, estimated at $645 million annually, and to benefit from Finland’s leadership in the areas of research and development, education and training, start-ups, innovation and others.
Dr. Al-Qasabi explained that the Kingdom’s economy — since the launch of the Kingdom Vision 2030 by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in 2016 — witnessed a transformation that led to the opening of many new sectors and promising opportunities for the business sector. He added that the Kingdom works to transform into a global trade and logistics hub, taking advantage of its geographical location and its capabilities that are currently being developed in light of the national strategy for transport and logistics services.
Dr. Al-Qasabi also pointed out that there are many promising opportunities available in many fields, including: renewable energy generation, hydrogen use in industrial applications and transportation, as well as cooperation opportunities to develop and employ carbon capture technologies. During the forum, which was attended by about 120 officials from the public and private sectors in the two countries, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Federation of Saudi Chambers and Business Finland.
The agreement was signed by Majed Al-Hokair, chairman of the Saudi-Finnish Business Council, and Nina Kopola, CEO of Business Finland, in addition to signing a number of memoranda of understanding between a number of Saudi-Finnish companies.
The forum program included a presentation entitled "Finland Determines the Future", in which Director of International Business Innovation, Karita Tesari da Costa, addressed the most prominent trends and practices adopted in specialized educational centers, innovation centers and business incubators in Finland. On the Saudi side, the Deputy Minister of Commerce and CEO of the National Competitiveness Center, Dr. Iman Bint Habbas Al-Mutairi, gave a presentation on the most prominent legislative and procedural reforms implemented with the aim of enhancing the Kingdom’s competitiveness and promising opportunities for investors.
In addition she clarified the support provided by the relevant authorities in the business sector to overcome the obstacles facing business owners in light of a business environment that promotes economic growth. For his part, the General Supervisor of the National Program for the Carbon Circular Economy at the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Zaid Al-Gharib, spoke about the Saudi Green Initiative, highlighting that the Kingdom advanced 10 places globally in the Green Future Index for 2022, which is the culmination of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's green initiatives.