Tuesday, April 22, 2008


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (April 22,2008) – A 30-member delegation of Saudi businessmen will visit Bosnia in early May to explore the prospects of establishing business and trade relations between the two countries.

The delegation, organized by Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, will also travel to Turkey, according to Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Al-Sulaiman, president of Ghassan Ahmed Al-Sulaiman Development Co. Ltd. and former chairman of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the chairman of the Saudi-Turkish Business Council, who is traveling with the group.

"This is the first trip organized by a Saudi chamber to Bosnia and will be an exploratory one because most of the delegates have not visited Bosnia before," Al-Sulaiman, said.

"I hope the businessmen will succeed in promoting trade and investment with that country," he said.

The delegation is expected to meet the Bosnian President Dr. Haris Silajdzic, who visited Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Economic Forum in February this year. "We were impressed by his speech, which he gave in Arabic, and we will make it a point to meet him during our visit as it is part of our program," Al-Sulaiman said.

"Bosnia is a beautiful country. It is not far away. A direct flight from here may take four hours. Though it is a European country, it is not far from Saudi Arabia," he added.

He said Bosnia has tremendous potential as a tourist destination and in addition has very strong attractive tourist destinations nearby.

Close by is Croatia which has some beautiful beaches and also Montenegro.

"There is a possibility that Bosnia will attract Saudi tourists once they come to know that country," he said.

"This trip, from May 4 to May 8, is meant to explore only Bosnia. No Saudi businessman will actually invest in Bosnia if he does not know the country. The first step is to see the country and explore it, and hopefully they (businessmen) will like the country. And once they like the country they will look at business, investment and trade opportunities," Al-Sulaiman said.

"The purpose of this visit is to see and study the potential of that country and I hope this will be first of many visits to follow in future," he said.

He added "Bosnia is a Muslim country and it needs the support of all Arab countries. Still, lots of people have a misconception that Bosnia is in the midst of a war, although the war ended more than 10 years ago."

According to him, the bilateral trade is negligible. Even if Saudis invest in Bosnia, it is still early to talk of building strong economic relations between the two countries.

No comments: