The Saudi-French Business Council (CAFS) is extremely happy to deploy its first website online. I share this satisfaction with all the members of our business council. Every single day, I see them go all out with their time and energy to develop economic and trade relations between France and Saudi Arabia.
At a time when our bilateral relations are developing to an unprecedented extent, the CAFS intends to fully play its role in encouraging and supporting this important movement, with our two countries significantly strengthening their cooperation in politics, culture, industry (civil and military), and trade.
“True friendship frees us from the pressure of superficiality,” wrote the great French writer André Maurois. To make it absolutely clear: This is how deeply I measure the friendship that unites our two countries. I thus intend for the CAFS to be a real tool for frank and direct dialog, serving this friendship, without concealing our respective strengths and weaknesses. This means that the business dialog that the CAFS is so happy to host must be as much about the opportunities as the weaknesses and needs on both sides, in order to identify the best ways to respond to them.
I thus consider the CAFS mission to be both operational and practical.
Above all, our advisory is a unique instrument for dialogue between investors, decision makers, and trade managers from both countries. The CAFS is particularly proud of the second Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum which will be held in Riyadh on October 12th and 13th. We are enthusiastically working to make this event a success.
The CAFS is also a tool for promotion and information sharing on the field. As an example, the information sessions that we organize in various French regions for potential Saudi investors have been a resounding success. The one-off meetings we arrange for economic and political decisions makers of both countries also play an essential role in deepening our mutual understanding.
The CAFS website that we are publishing online is yet another important step in this direction. It is likewise breaking new grounds. Its goal is to become an operational tool for French investors and their families, and likewise for young Saudi students. For example the CV Library the CV Library in real time will connect economic actors to address their concerns and to support French investment projects in Saudi Arabia. It will likewise work in the other direction, promoting employment for Saudi youth, via job postings, information on employment for spouses in Saudi Arabia assisting French families settle in the Kingdom, announcing internships and scholarships for French-speaking Saudi students, and so forth.
Please allow me to thank my copresident Jean-Louis Chaussade, as well as all the CAFS partners which have worked relentlessly with us—our partner MEDEF of course, and BUSINESS FRANCE and the foreign trade advisors as well. I would also like to specifically mention the French Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bertrand Besancenot, and his team as well. They have always been enthusiastic and determined, and supportive of the CAFS. I would also really like to thank the embassy of the Kingdom in Paris for its unconditional support for our activity.
I am aware of the challenge that the CAFS faces today: proving itself worthy of the formidable strengthening of the relations between our two countries. It is a difficult and thrilling challenge.
It would be an understatement to say that the entire CAFS is working to face the challenge.
May this site we are launching today be a testimony of these efforts.
Mohamed Ben Laden