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  • Ahmed Saleh

Saudi Arabia demonstrates a commitment to African economic collaboration with upcoming conference

Riyadh, November 08, 2023, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to host the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference this year, underscoring its supportive stance toward international and regional efforts in partnership with the African Union. The aim is to contribute to economic development and increased investments across the continent.

The Kingdom is focused on strengthening economic ties with African countries, especially in the industrial and mining sectors, leveraging its strategic geographical location as a key trading hub connecting the East and West. Actively participating in trade fairs and events on the continent, Saudi Arabia seeks to promote its non-oil products and services.

Over the past five years, trade between Saudi Arabia and African countries has experienced significant growth, with non-oil exports to Africa increasing annually at a rate of 5.96% from 2018 to 2022. By the end of 2022, Saudi non-oil exports reached SAR 31.94 billion, while imports from Africa amounted to SAR 23.79 billion.

Leading Saudi exports to Africa include the chemical and polymers sector, packaging, construction materials, and food products. Conversely, Saudi imports from Africa encompass various sectors such as food products, construction materials, precious metals, and jewelry.

Both Saudi Arabia and Africa possess substantial mining potential. The Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in January 2024, hosted by Riyadh, aims to maximize the utilization of the extensive mining region spanning from Africa to West and Central Asia. The forum seeks to attract investments for the mineral industries, contributing to regional and global economic growth.

In 2021, Saudi Arabia exported metal products valued at $3.41 billion to South Africa, while South Africa exported precious metals and metal products worth $397 million to Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom actively pursues expanded cooperation with 11 African countries through negotiations for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the mining sector.

Saudi Arabia has engaged in significant mining projects in collaboration with African countries, including joint projects like Industries Chimiques du Fluor (ICF) in Tunisia and the National Industrial and Mining Company (SNIM) in Mauritania.

The Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference, scheduled at the Hilton Hotel in Riyadh, will witness the participation of leaders, decision-makers, officials, and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and African countries. The conference's agenda includes discussions on industrial, mining, and commercial partnerships, sustainable energy collaborations, frameworks for cooperation, food security, business development, infrastructure, and human capital for sustainable development.

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