A distinguished delegation of Swiss business leaders, led by Guy Parmelin, a Swiss Federal Councillor and head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education, and Research, is currently in Saudi Arabia to delve into burgeoning trade and investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Parmelin highlighted the robust growth in trade between Switzerland and Saudi Arabia in recent years, emphasising the keen interest of Swiss companies in investing in the Kingdom.
Parmelin identified clean-tech, infrastructure, and logistics as promising sectors for collaboration, aligning Swiss expertise with Saudi priorities. He highlighted the significance of tourism, particularly with Saudi Arabia hosting Expo 2030 and likely bidding for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.
The accompanying business delegation is eager to tap into Saudi Arabia’s rapidly transforming economic landscape, recognizing the importance of firsthand experience and personal engagement for Swiss businesses eyeing the Saudi market.
Despite already strong economic ties, Parmelin sees room for further enhancement, citing essential agreements in place for facilitating trade and investment. He emphasised the importance of regular high-level interactions, pointing to recent meetings with Saudi ministers during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Switzerland’s decentralised approach and Saudi Arabia’s proactive stance on attracting foreign investments create a fertile ground for Swiss involvement. Parmelin highlighted the visit’s goal to unlock untapped potential in bilateral economic relations, including meetings with ministers and visits to key sites such as Diriyah and King Salman Park.
Referring to last year’s meeting between Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda and the Saudi minister of economy and planning, Parmelin discussed Switzerland’s interest in Saudi Arabia’s vast areas, solar parks, green hydrogen initiatives, and niche opportunities in sustainable fashion. The visit aligns with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to expand economic relationships and explore collaborative opportunities in trade and investment.