Saudi Arabia and France Forge Maritime Cooperation Pact in Paris

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) and France's Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM), which operates the Port of Marseille Fos, inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 4th, 2024, in Paris. The agreement, signed during the Vision Golfe 2024 event organized by Business France, signifies a commitment between the two nations to strengthen ties in the maritime transport sector.

The MoU, signed by Omar Hariri, President of Mawani, and Hervé Martel, CEO of GPMM, outlines a framework for collaboration across various maritime fields. This includes fostering digital transformation initiatives aimed at developing smarter and more efficient port operations. The agreement also emphasizes collaboration on environmental sustainability practices, with a focus on supporting the "Green Port" initiative.

This strategic partnership is expected to bolster international trade by facilitating smoother logistics channels between Saudi Arabia and France. The MoU is particularly significant for Mawani, which is actively pursuing its vision of establishing Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub connecting three continents. With ten ports strategically located across the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf, Mawani plays a pivotal role in the country's maritime trade strategy.

The Port of Marseille Fos, located on France's southern coast, is the nation's leading port and boasts a long history as a major trade gateway to Europe. The collaboration between Mawani and GPMM presents an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both port authorities, creating a more efficient and competitive maritime corridor.

The signing ceremony, held at the French Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, was attended by several dignitaries, including Fahad Al-Ruwaily, the Saudi Ambassador to France, and Laurent Saint-Martin, Director General of Business France. Their presence underscored the importance of the MoU for both nations.

This agreement is anticipated to yield positive outcomes beyond just the immediate benefits to the two port authorities. By streamlining trade processes and promoting environmentally friendly practices, the MoU has the potential to contribute to a more robust and sustainable maritime industry on a global scale. The partnership between Mawani and GPMM serves as a testament to the growing recognition of international cooperation in navigating the evolving landscape of global trade.

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