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European Union, GCC to hold investment meeting in Riyadh

A high-profile forum co-hosted by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European Union (EU) is to take place in Riyadh on Monday.

In information carried on its website, the EU said that several GCC and EU officials would participate in the meeting aimed at expanding cooperation and encouraging bilateral investment.

European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc is to lead the EU representation in the GCC along with Italian diplomat Michele Cervone D’Urso, a former head of the EU delegation to Yemen, who was recently appointed as head of the EU delegation to Saudi Arabia.

The GCC-EU business forum will feature speakers from the EU, GCC and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

It will aim to discuss topics such as enhancing EU-GCC trade relations, investment and foreign direct investment (FDI) issues in the GCC – particularly in high-growth sectors such as transport, infrastructure and sustainable urban development – and opportunities for public-private-partnerships (PPPs) in the fields of transport, utilities and energy, according to the EU statement.

“This forum is a continuation of the first EU-GCC Business Forum held in Brussels in May 2016,” it said.

It added that the EU enjoys long-established relationships with Saudi Arabia and other GCC member states within the framework of the EU-GCC Cooperation Agreement signed in 1985.

Trade volumes between the two regions have almost doubled during the past decade and stood at slightly more than 155 billion euros in 2015.

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