18-21 NOVEMBER 2024

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350 EU Firms Granted Licenses to Move Regional Headquarters

EU: 350 Companies Granted Licenses to Relocate Their Headquarters to Riyadh

European Firms Making Moves

▪️ Ambassador Luigi Di Maio, the European Union's Special Representative to the Gulf region, announced that over 350 European companies have been granted licenses to move their regional head quarters to Riyadh.

▪️ This move includes major European groups aiming to establish a presence in the Kingdom, driven by the Saudi Government's goal to attract 480 companies to open regional headquarters by 2030.

EU-Saudi Trade Relations

▪️ Ambassador Di Maio highlighted the strong trade partnership between the EU and Saudi Arabia, noting that the total trade in goods and services reached €87.91 billion in 2023.

▪️ Goods trade accounted for €70.75 billion, underscoring the substantial economic connections between the two regions.

Support for Private Sector Engagement

▪️ To continue supporting private sector engagement with Saudi Arabia, the European Union has backed the establishment of the first European Chamber of Commerce in the Gulf.

▪️ Set to open in Riyadh next May officially, the chamber aims to assist European companies in establishing and strengthening their presence in Saudi Arabia.

▪️ The chamber will facilitate business operations in this market and connect them with various European markets.

Investment and Trade Growth

▪️ Service trade data for 2022 shows a 42.4% increase, from €12.06 billion to €17.17 billion, illustrating the dynamic growth in service trade between the regions.

▪️ Bilateral foreign direct investment stocks rose by 50%, from €63.6 billion to €95.4 billion, indicating increasing investment flows.

▪️ Foreign direct investment FDI from Saudi Arabia to the EU reached €65 billion in 2022, up from €48 billion in 2021, with the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany being the main destinations.

▪️ EU Foreign Direct Investment in Saudi Arabia doubled to €30.8 billion in 2022 from €15.7 billion in 2021, highlighting the strong investment ties.

Broad European Investment in Saudi Arabia

▪️ The EU Commissioner reported that over 1,300 European companies invest in Saudi Arabia, operating across various sectors, including energy,  manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, and more.

▪️ Approximately 25,000 citizens from the 27 EU member states reside in Saudi Arabia, reflecting the profound economic and cultural ties between the EU and Saudi Arabia.

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