Saudi Arabia and Poland aim to strengthen energy cooperation

Jun 26, 2007 02:00 AM

Saudi Arabia and Poland intend to work for stronger economic cooperation, particularly in the field of energy, said Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal said.
"The energy sphere is perhaps the area where we can really cooperate," he said during an event organized by the Polish Institute of International Affairs.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud together with Prince Saud al Faisal arrived in Poland for a planned two-day visit at a time when Poland is trying to strengthen ties with the Middle East. Poland has a military contingent in Iraq, while Polish authorities are attempting to diversify sources of energy supplies in order to reduce the country's reliance on Russian imports.
Poland and Saudi Arabia signed agreements to render mutual assistance in fighting organized crime, cooperation in healthcare, education and sports.

As for economic cooperation, Saud al Faisal said that the both countries should work to boost the security of doing business, abolish double taxation and increase knowledge about each other.
"Capital is a coward unless you give it a protectionist environment," he said referring to mutual investment protection.

Apart from the energy field, the two countries believe the Polish construction sector may provide another platform for cooperation, boosted by the inflow of European Union structural funds and the successful bid by Warsaw and Kiev for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.
"Especially after choosing Poland as the organizer for European soccer championship in 2012, we will witness even higher boom in the construction sector," Royal Embassy for Saudi Arabia in Poland wrote in materials distributed. "It will be an impulse for Saudi companies active in this segment to invest in Poland. Without any doubt, the trade exchange between the two countries will grow."

So far, however, no economic agreement has been signed between the countries. Further talks are expected to be conducted through the Saudi-Polish Business Council, established in 2006.
Mutual trade has grown over the past few years to reach EUR 212 mm in 2006, up from EUR 160 mm the prior year, according to Poland's Central Statistical Office (GUS). Polish exports to Saudi Arabia came to EUR 106 mm, up from EUR 75 mm against Saudi exports of EUR 107 mm, up from $ 87 mm.

Source: Interfax Central Europe
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