On the pleasant afternoon of November 3rd, the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney served as a grand stage for an event that symbolized the strengthening relationship between Australia and Saudi Arabia. Organized by the Australian Saudi Business Forum (ASBF), the Afternoon Tea with the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources IMARC as well as the Ministry of Investment Delegation brought together a diverse group of dignitaries and around 200 industry experts to discuss the future of mining and investment in Saudi Arabia.
The event was graced by the presence of His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Belushi, Assistant Deputy Minister of Mining, and Dr. Yousef Alolayan, Assistant Deputy Minister of Investment Development, both leading their respective delegations. The Saudi side was further represented by Mr. Meshare Bin Naheet, Consul General of the Royal Saudi Consulate in Sydney, and Mr. Atif AlOthri, Saudi Commercial Attaché.
From the Australian side, the event saw the participation of Mr. Todd Miller, Australian Trade & Investment Commissioner to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Honorable Mr. Anthony Roberts, NSW Member for Lane Cove, and local councilors including Mr. Carmelo Pesci, Mayor of Sutherland Shire, Mr. Hassan Awada of Sutherland Shire Council, and Mr. Sam Elmir, Mayor of Georges River Council.
The event commenced with Sam Jamsheedi, President of the ASBF, welcoming the esteemed guests and the Saudi delegation. He briefly touched upon the ASBF’s history and objectives, setting a collaborative tone for the afternoon. As the President of the Australian Saudi Business Forum (ASBF), Sam has played a pivotal role in fostering the burgeoning relationship between Australia and Saudi Arabia. His leadership has been instrumental in establishing the ASBF as the most active conduit for bilateral engagement. Through his efforts, the ASBF has become renowned for its regular events and business delegations that explore and enhance opportunities between the two nations. Jamsheedi’s vision and dedication have significantly contributed to the ASBF’s reputation as a dynamic bridge, connecting Australian and Saudi businesses and policymakers, and facilitating a dialogue that is essential for mutual growth and understanding.
His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Belushi then took the stage to discuss the ambitious Vision 2030 of His Majesty the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Vision 2030 marks a significant strategic pivot from petroleum to mining, highlighting the importance of Australia’s expertise in this sector.
The afternoon progressed into an insightful panel discussion featuring three key speakers. Khaled al Khusan from the Saudi Ministry of Investment highlighted the growth of the Saudi economy, now the 13th largest globally, and the necessity of knowledge transfer to empower the Saudi economic landscape.
Todd Miller, joining online, emphasized the vitality of the mining and resources sector to Australia and the welcoming nature of the Saudi market for Australian investments. He shared insights on value chain development and the global integration of Saudi Arabia, evidenced by its import of international shows like “The Phantom of the Opera”. Miller also shed light on the eased process for Australians to obtain an E-Visa upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Reem Al Amiri, representing the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, spoke on the country’s investment climate and the eagerness to learn from Australian policies. She pinpointed exploration in mining as a crucial skill set currently needed in Saudi Arabia. Al Amiri also promoted the upcoming Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Saudi Arabia, encouraging attendees to participate in the event expected to draw over twelve thousand businesses.
The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session, providing the audience with an opportunity to delve deeper into the topics of discussion. The afternoon concluded with a networking session, where business ties were strengthened, and future collaborations were forged.
The Afternoon Tea event with the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources IMARC and Ministry of Investment Delegation, organized by the ASBF, was more than a mere gathering; it was a testament to the growing partnership between Australia and Saudi Arabia, poised to usher in an era of prosperity and mutual growth in the mining and investment sectors.