The delegation's three day visit started with a whole day's solar conference in Magdeburg on Tuesday 03/08/2010 which was attended by approximately 100 representatives from companies and research institutions. "It is a particular honour for us, as a centre of business, that a Saudi Arabian delegation is spending three days in business meetings in Saxony-Anhalt. The Arab countries have a lot of potential for growth, Saudi Arabia will continue to be an engine for investment in the future. This is why I am pleased that the largest national economy in the Middle East is taking an interest in renewable energies. In this field, Saxony-Anhalt's economy is particularly impressive. In recent years we have developed into a prime location in the field of solar energy. In addition companies from Saxony-Anhalt have outstanding expertise with regard to the manufacture of wind turbines.This provides good opportunities for investment and strategic partnerships" as Minister Dr. Reiner Haseloff said at the welcoming ceremony for the business delegation from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The delegation remained a further two days for business meetings in Saxony-Anhalt. Their famous representatives were able to visit the SOLAR VALLEY on Wednesday 04/08/2010, as well as Q-Cells SE. To round off their trip, on Thursday 05/08/2010 they visited the Preiss-Daimler ChemiePark Bitterfeld Wolfen. According to the Minister for Oil and Raw Materials, Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia would like, in the long term, to export as much solar energy as they today do oil.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Dr. Reiner Haseloff, was positive about the trip. "The comments from our guests from the Middle East are promising. They have by their own account seen Saxony-Anhalt as a prime location for renewable energy and they were particularly impressed by the local solar and chemicals industry. Also, the first concrete meetings with companies, as well as enquiries regarding available sites for industry, prices of sites, qualified personnel and funding opportunities have already taken place. This visit therefore represents an important foundation stone for investment in the state and for strategic partnerships between Saudi Arabian and local companies."
Amongst others, representatives of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the King Saud University and the Saudi Arabian Ministry for Finance took part in the business delegation. The trip was organised by Saxony-Anhalt's own Investment and Marketing Corporation in cooperation with the Federal and State Ministry for Agriculture and Environment as well as the Nah-und Mittelost-Verein e.V: (Near and Middle East Association), which has worked to strengthen business relationships between Germany and regions in the Near and Middle East for 75 years.
Germany is in 4th place after the USA, China and Japan in the export rankings from Saudi-Arabia. German imports from the Kingdom amounted to 648 million Euros in 2009, of which approximately 12.8 million Euros went to Saxony-Anhalt. Approximately 4.8 billion Euros of goods were exported from Germany to Saudi Arabia, of which almost 68.7 million Euros of which were from companies in Saxony-Anhalt.