Strengthening Economic Relations Between Austria and Saudi Arabia

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: June 5, 2024; 22:19 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Saudi Minister of Economy, Faisal Al-Ibrahim, visited Vienna and met with the Austrian Federal Minister of Labor and Economy, Martin Kocher. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed as part of the 9th Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee, which aims to strengthen further and diversify economic relations between the two countries.

Minister of Economy Martin Kocher, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce received the Saudi Minister of Economy Faisal F. Alibrahim in Vienna. / Picture: © Saudi Arabic and Austrian crossed flags by

Saudi Minister Al-Ibrahim's visit to Vienna was accompanied by a large delegation of high-ranking Saudi business leaders. The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) organized several tours and events to showcase Austrian technology, culture, and urban development.

Austrian-Saudi Business Forum

A highlight of the visit was the Austrian-Saudi Business Forum, organized by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO). Here, Minister Al-Ibrahim and his delegation were presented with innovative solutions from Austrian companies, including independent AI algorithms, new export financing solutions, and green energy technologies.

Rakan Al-Garaawi, a representative of the Saudi Ministry of Investment, gave a presentation on the dynamic investment environment in Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the importance of the National Investment Strategy (NIS) within the framework of Vision 2030. He emphasized the remarkable economic progress of Saudi Arabia, which recorded the highest growth rate among the G20 countries in 2022. Al-Garaawi also explained the initiatives to promote investment, including the establishment of five special economic zones and the Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (GSCRI).

Official reception at the Upper Belvedere

In the evening, an exclusive reception was held for Minister Al-Ibrahim at the majestic Upper Belvedere. Organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the event brought together high-ranking representatives of the Saudi and Austrian ministries as well as business leaders. Guests enjoyed traditional Saudi music, culinary delights, and an impressive exhibition of Austrian artworks, especially paintings by Gustav Klimt.

Sightseeing program in Vienna

The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) organized an extensive sightseeing program for the Saudi delegation. The day began with a guided tour of the Spittelau waste incineration plant, whose artistically designed façade was inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The delegation was impressed by the combination of waste recycling and architectural art.

This was followed by an exclusive tour of the restored Austrian Parliament, accompanied by Federal Councillor Günther Kovacs. The Saudi delegation was introduced to Austria's parliamentary system and historical architecture.

The day ended with a visit to the urban development project Seestadt Aspern. Here, the delegation discussed concepts for smart cities, the integration of technology, and sustainability in housing construction.

Memorandum of Understanding

The signing of the MoU between the two ministers marks an important step towards strengthening economic relations. The agreement aims to promote cooperation in areas such as trade, industry, research and development as well as tourism. Minister Kocher emphasized the growing importance of Saudi Arabia as an export market for Austrian companies and highlighted the potential for future cooperation, especially in the areas of infrastructure projects, mobility, tourism infrastructure, entertainment, and GreenTech.

This week's official talks and events illustrate the strong interest of both countries in deepening economic cooperation and offer numerous opportunities for companies on both sides.

Austrian Ministry of Economy