The cordial ties between Saudi Arabia and Germany are already intensive and versatile, yet the ties between the two countries are even expanding further.
The two nations realize that the strengthened partnership could yield a number of strategic dividends. In fact, Saudi Arabia and Germany, on several occasions in the past, have evinced keen interest to take their strategic and cooperative partnership to a higher plane.
This resolve to boost relations further will go a long way in consolidating the relations in political and cultural fields as well as in building strong complementarity in the two economies on the basis of friendly interaction. “Bilateral relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia are friendly and untroubled, and they were formalized by the friendship treaty between the German Reich and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Najd and the affiliated territories as early as 1929, i.e. three years before the Kingdom was proclaimed as a nation,” said a report released by the German embassy.
Germany has maintained diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia since 1954.
Like other Arab nations, Saudi Arabia is friendly toward Germany.
Many would like to see Germany play a greater role in world politics, particularly in resolving the Middle East conflict, but in other regional conflicts as well.
The visits of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to Saudi Arabia in February 2007 and May 2010 further strengthened the ties between the two nations.
On the other hand, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah visited Germany in November 2007 and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal paid visits in 2008 and again in February 2011.
In recent years, relations between the German Bundestag and the Saudi Consultative Assembly (Shoura Council) have also intensified, the most recent exchange being the visit to Berlin by a Shoura Council delegation in May 2011 at the invitation of the Bundestag.
The recent visits to Saudi Arabia by the German side were those by former Federal Environment Minister and Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Rottgen in April 2014 and by former Federal Transport Minister and Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Economic Affairs and Energy Committee Peter Ramsauer in May 2014.
This was followed by the visit of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Jeddah on Oct. 12, 2014.
During his visit, Steinmeier held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince Salman, minister of defense, and his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal.
The visit was intended to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries.
The German foreign minister will also meet with Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with an aim of finding common ground for OIC-German cooperation.
On this occasion, Steinmeier said in a statement : “Saudi Arabia plays a central role in facing crises in the region. In fighting IS, it will be crucial to reach an understanding and develop a common political strategy above and beyond military action.”
Steinmeier said: “Through hosting the conference in Jeddah on Sept. 12, which brought together regional players together for the first time, and through the important participation in the international alliance in the fight against IS, Saudi Arabia adopted a leadership role in the region.”
He said that joint action against IS, as well as the overall situation in the Middle East, will be central topics of discussion during his trip to Jeddah. In the field of economy, Riyadh and Berlin have also forged closer ties.
Germany is a major European nation, while Saudi Arabia is a leading player in a key region.
The Kingdom is a member of the G20, a driving force in the Arab League and a leading power in the region. Saudi Arabia is a very important partner for Germany.
Close coordination between the two G20-partners is therefore in our mutual interest and becoming ever more important.
In addition to the numerous visits by both countries’ heads of state as well as the foreign ministers in recent years the intensifying cooperation between the German Bundestag and the Saudi Shoura Council should also be mentioned in this regard. Finally, the exchange between the Saudi and German people is also increasing rapidly.
Germany is becoming one of the favorite destinations among Saudi Arabian citizens for tourism, health, language training, higher education, and business.
Economic relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany are excellent and reach back long until before the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its present form.
It were German companies, who built the Hejaz railways in the early 20th century, and who since then have been present at every step in the development of the modern economy of Saudi Arabia and the expansion of its infrastructure.
Today they participate for example in the creation of a modern public transport system for Riyadh as well as in the diversification of the Saudi petrochemical industry.

German companies are among the pioneers of energy technology, and promote the use of renewable energy for electricity generation and water desalination in the Kingdom.
The official bilateral trade balance stood at an impressive number of Euros11 billion in 2013 and has been constantly growing in the last years.
But these numbers do not reflect the entirety of our bilateral economic activities.
The exchange of the traditional range of goods — mechanical engineering and chemical products against crude oil and petrochemical products — continues to play an important role.
Also crude oil from the Kingdom and other Saudi exports reach Germany not only through the direct route but also to a much larger extent through other European ports, which means that the Saudi exports are much higher than those published in the trade balance.
While German enterprises act less than before as general contractors, they are still very much engaged in consortia in the giant infrastructure projects of the Kingdom or act as suppliers for other enterprises. So payments by foreign general contractors to German sub-contractors may or may also not figure in the German trade balance with the Kingdom.
Today, Saudi Arabia puts much emphasis on the creation of a manufacturing industry based on locally available raw materials such as crude oil, gas or aluminum.
Germany figures among the top investors in the strict sense, as defined by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
More and more German companies are working to establish manufacturing base in the Kingdom, thus transferring technical know-how as well as FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
Alone or together with a Saudi partner, they transfer technical know-how to the country, create high-quality jobs, and qualify a new local workforce.
A good part of German companies in Saudi Arabia consists of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Such companies form the backbone of German Industry. Often, they are market leaders in their special field. They are considered as competent, punctual in keeping deadlines, and fair.
They are much-valued partners of Saudi entrepreneurs.
Saudi Arabia’s substantial oil revenue enables it to import German products and services on a large scale, and such imports are strongly trending upwards.
Since the Saudi government is expected to continue making major investments in infrastructure, energy and water supply, education and health care, the country will remain an interesting market for German companies.
Through the SAGIA and the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), the country offers a range of incentives to encourage foreign companies to invest and create jobs there.
Foreign companies and joint ventures are also required to employ a certain percentage of Saudi nationals.
On cultural front, the two countries have forged closer ties. German-Saudi cultural cooperation is based on an intergovernmental agreement that entered into force on April 2, 2006.
There are German schools in Jeddah and Riyadh.
On the other hand, the King Fahd Academies in Bonn and Berlin receive Saudi government funding.
This is in addition to a faculty posted at the King Saud University in Riyadh and another at Effat University in Jeddah within the framework of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In recent years, some 600 Saudi students have come to Germany to study on grants provided under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which awards a total of 120,000 scholarships.
A German translation course is also being taught by the King Saud University.
A number of Saudi students take advantage of the opportunity to attend summer schools in Germany.
A Robert Bosch Foundation cultural manager has been working in Jeddah since 2011, the post being newly filled in February 2014.

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