(MENAFN - Arab News) With a GDP of about 700 billion, the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) ranks 17 of all worldwide economies, and is, with 18 million inhabitants, one of the biggest German federal states.
As Germany is the third most important supplier of Saudi Arabia and as about 17 percent of all German exports are "Made in NRW," this German federal state plays an important role for Saudi Arabia. For this reason a business delegation from NRW is visiting Saudi Arabia from Friday, which ends on Tuesday (today). Harry Kurt Voigtsberger, minister for economics, energy, construction, housing and traffic of NRW, heads the delegation.
During his meetings with high ranking Saudi decision makers including Saleh Al-Awaji, deputy minister for water and electricity, and Mohammed bin Sulaiman bin Mohammed Al-Jasser, minister of national economy and planning, Voigtsberger underlined the will of NRW to actively contribute to the Saudi demand for transfer of technology and know-how. The know-how of Europe's biggest industrial cluster for chemical and petrochemical industries, the leading technologies in the field of energy efficiency and especially the field of education and vocational training are promising issues for cooperation.
"According to my impression vocational training and qualifying of the young Saudi society is one of the most important issues for the Saudi society and North Rhine-Westphalia could offer solutions for this challenge. Around 761,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the economic backbone of NRW. Hereby the German dual education system plays an important role to qualify young people according to the demand of the NRW industry. This experience of NRW enterprises in the field of education and vocational training could serve their Saudi partners to establish businesses with sustainable success," Voigtsberger said at a meeting of German businessmen in Riyadh, which was organized by AHK Saudi Arabia.
Delegate of German Industry and Commerce for Saudi Arabia and Yemen Andreas Hergenrther highlighted the common interest of NRW and Saudi Arabia. "With its innovative chemical industry clusters, North Rhine-Westphalia shares the goal with Saudi Arabia to diversify its chemical industry. For this reason, I see very good opportunities for cooperation, especially in the downstream sector," he told Arab News.
The NRW-agencies for export and investment promotion (NRW.International and NRW.INVEST) together with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK Saudi Arabia) will be following up on these opportunities by promoting actively win-win cooperation in both directions.