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Vision Golfe 2024 : Record Attendance Signals Growing French-GCC Commercial Cooperation

Vision Golfe 2024 : Record Attendance Signals Growing French-GCC Commercial Cooperation

Friday, June 7, 2024/ Editor -  


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Paris, June 6th, 2024 - Vision Golfe 2024, held at the French Ministry of Economy, Finance, Industrial and Digital Sovereignty in Paris, has marked a significant milestone in bolstering economic relations between France and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This year’s edition witnessed unprecedented engagement with over 1,200 attendees, including more than 500 stakeholders from GCC countries, reflecting a growing commitment to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation.

The event was packed with insightful discussions that began with a welcoming speech from the French Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, followed by Laurent Saint-Martin, CEO, Business France, on the importance of this strategic cooperation for French trade and attractiveness.

The event featured high-level participation from prominent figures such as:

  • Dr. Jaleela bint AlSayed Jawad Hasan, Minister of Health, Bahrain
  • Eng. Salim Al Aufi, Minister of Energy and Minerals, Oman
  • Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, President of AFALULA, agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the AlUla region in Saudi Arabia.
  • Minister Christophe Castaner, President of the Supervisory Board, Port of Marseille, the main port authority for Marseille-Fos port,
  • Princess Noura Faisal Al Saud, CGEO Consultant, Abdullah Al Othaim Investment Co.

Their contributions provided invaluable insights into trade and economic strategies, underscoring the importance of the conference agenda and enriching discussions with high-level governmental perspectives.

In addition, more than 40 officials, including GCC Ambassadors to France, French Diplomats, representatives from Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Omani and UAE authorities, as well as CEOs from these countries attended the event, emphasizing the high level of bilateral engagement.

The conference saw the signing of significant agreements with the Saudi Ports Authority, MAWANI, and the Grand Port of Marseille Fos, symbolizing the strengthening of maritime connections because of their strategic position at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, within the framework of the construction of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, IMEC.

Another agreement strengthening bridges was established at Vision Golfe, between Export Bahrain and the French Chamber of Commerce to promote Bahraini exports while facilitating business relations between France and Bahrain.

Following this, a series of roundtables were scheduled for two days that offered valuable insights into the pivotal issues of the French-GCC commercial relationship.

Sulaiman Al Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), contributed to the discussions by highlighting Vision 2030 and its focus on energy, supply, technology, and investments.

Subsequently, Mishaal Bin Omairah, Group CEO of Al Othaim Investment, shed light on the Saudi retail and entertainment sector while sharing his vision for becoming a leading player in the Saudi market.

Highlights of this edition also included France’s top attractiveness status in Europe, with France 2030 Investment Plan and the announcement of the establishment of the France Lab for Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI).

In addition to these national achievements, regional initiatives also garnered attention with Rising SUD, the economic development agency representing the South of France, that showcased the region's dynamic potential for cooperation with GCC counterparts at Vision Golfe 2024. The agency emphasized the South of France's historic appeal to GCC investors, highlighting its vibrant landscapes, renowned international events such as the Cannes Film Festival, and its status as a key economic hub. The region boasts robust sectoral ecosystems, including AI and innovation hubs, and significant green investments, underscoring its strategic importance for GCC investments and partnerships.

Laurent Saint-Martin, CEO, Business France, commented: “In a world facing crises of all kinds and amid significant tensions in the Near and Middle East, we at Business France, alongside our Gulf partners, have chosen to build bridges. By leveraging shared expertise, cultural exchange, and mutual investment opportunities, Vision Golfe seeks to create a resilient and prosperous future with our exceptional Gulf partners with which France maintains high-quality bilateral cooperation. I hope that we, both individually and collectively, will meet the expectations and needs of our Gulf partners, whose high standards should compel us. The competition is fierce. Let's rise to the occasion”.

Vision Golfe 2024 was made possible through the support of its key-partners: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the largest bank of the UAE providing comprehensive financial solutions; Thallium Consulting, specializing in strategic advisory services; Sadita Holding Company, investing in diverse sectors across the GCC, also significantly contributed to the event's success and CES Rayer, an advocate for cultural and economic development.

Vision Golfe 2024 was designed to facilitate the creation of new businesses and foster the signing of more contracts. By bringing together key stakeholders from both regions, it provided a platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and strategic partnerships. This collaboration is expected to lead to increased investment flows, innovative projects, and mutually beneficial ventures.

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