German investors eye Saudi transport sector
Riyadh, April 9, 2012
German investors are keen to play a major role in the huge projects Saudi Arabia has earmarked to develop its transport network, according to a senior German government official.
Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development Peter Ramsauer said that talks held with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport Jobarah Al Suraisry explored possible collaboration on a number of key initiatives, including the development of the country’s railway sector, the Saudi land-bridge project and the renovation of port infrastructure.
“Saudi Arabia is the country of focus for Germany in the Middle East,” Ramsauer told the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).
“German companies are eager to invest and collaborate with Saudis and have proved themselves well able to collaborate with the Kingdom to solve some of the challenges present in the local economy.”
Ramsauer’s comments form part of the research for The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013, OBG’s forthcoming guide on the Kingdom’s economic activity and investment opportunities.
The Group’s report will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, together with a wide range of interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders.
Ramsauer said the growing number of Saudis choosing to move from rural areas to the Kingdom’s cities heightened the need for new infrastructure and transportation networks to be put in place.
“At the same time, the regeneration of rural areas and the establishment of decent and adequate infrastructure to ensure people have equitable opportunities without leaving their home towns is key,” he said, “so it needs careful management.”
He added that the creation of a knowledge-based economy would be instrumental in moving forward Saudi Arabia’s bid to develop downstream activity and diversify its economy.
“In Saudi Arabia the gas, oil and petrochemical industries must all work towards further development of downstream industries, which, when combined with knowledge-based industries, will create a real added value economy,” he said.
OBG’s operations in Riyadh are led by country director Elise Postigo and editorial manager Jose Maria Recio.
Postigo’s appointment marks her return to the Middle East following a spell in Ghana where she headed operations on OBG’s first-time report on the African State.
Postigo said Saudi Arabia’s drive to expand its downstream activities through ventures such as petrochemicals production, together with the broader expansion of the non-oil sectors, would be given wide-ranging coverage in the Group’s forthcoming report.
“Saudi Arabia’s efforts to bring the private sector on board for its economic expansion are gathering momentum, with growth evident in areas such as construction, manufacturing and industry,” she said.
“I look forward to meeting the key players who are participating in this wave of activity as we prepare to explore these and other significant developments in our new report.”
OBG’s regional director Michelle Solomon added that Saudi Arabia’s massive investment in infrastructure and transport projects on the back of increasing revenue streams and a growing population was sending out positive signals to investors about the health of the Kingdom’s wider economy.
“Saudi Arabia’s development plan gave investors a clear indication of the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its economy, while serving as a launch pad for a long list of major projects across the sectors,” she said.
“I am confident Elise and Jose Maria’s understanding of the changing economic landscape both in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East will help us to produce a report which provides comprehensive coverage of these exciting opportunities and will serve as a valuable tool for business leaders,” she added.
The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013 will mark the culmination of more than six months of on-the-ground research by a team of analysts from the Group.
The launch report will provide information on opportunities for foreign direct investment into Saudi Arabia’s economy and will act as a guide to the many facets of the Kingdom including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and sectoral developments.
The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013 will be available in print form or online. – TradeArabia News Service