Bpifrance accompanies 16 French companies from the Cultural and Creative Industries sector in Riyadh and AlUla, to discover the Saudi culture and entertainment market

Paris, June 19th, 2023 – Yesterday, Bpifrance launched the international mission “French Touch Saudi Arabia” dedicated to the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) sector, operated in partnership with Business France and the French Agency for the Development of AlUla (AFALULA). For five days, the sixteen selected companies will prospect the Saudi market to confirm their strategy of setting up in the Middle East. This mission aims to highlight the community of the French Touch, the movement of French creation, supported by Bpifrance, and to promote French culture as well as the art of living.

With an ambition to diversifying its economy and getting out of dependence on hydrocarbons, Saudi Arabia launched the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan in 2016. This program aims to transform the Kingdom economically and socially, and includes a wide range of initiatives in the fields of archaeology, tourism, culture, education and the arts. Since the signing of a bilateral agreement between Saudi Arabia and France in 2018, AlUla, an emblematic project of Vision 2030, is one of the symbols of Franco-Saudi cooperation. This oasis in the province of Medina is one of the reflections of the national strategy for economic diversification, empowerment of local communities and preservation of heritage. Thanks to these initiatives, the country hopes to become a leading tourist destination, attractive internationally and for the local population.

As part of this international mission, sixteen French companies benefit from a rich program, combining collective and individual time. First, the delegation meets, in Riyadh, some of the biggest contractors in the entertainment and culture sector: Saudi Ministry of Culture, JAX Museum, Qiddiya, etc. The companies will benefit from personalized business meetings, networking moments and privileged discussion times with the institutions in charge of Saudi megaprojects.

The delegation will then travel to AlUla to meet the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and visit the pre-Nabataean site. Individual meetings with the RCU, in charge of the megaproject, will allow them to propose innovative solutions for culture and entertainment, with the aim of building long-term relationships and contributing to the Saudi Vision 2030

Olivier Vincent, Executive Director in charge of Export at Bpifrance declares: “Symbol of Franco-Saudi cooperation, AlUla reflects the objectives of the Kingdom’s national strategy in terms of economic diversification, empowerment of local communities and preservation of the heritage. French companies must take advantage of this dynamism and the excellent relations that we have with Saudi Arabia to promote their expertise and their excellence in the CCI sector, this is the whole point of this international mission.”

Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of AFALULA, says: “The mission of the French Agency for AlUla Development (AFALULA) is twofold: to co-construct the development of AlUla with its Saudi partner, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), and to mobilize the full breadth of French expertise in all fields covered by the project. In 5 years, we can congratulate ourselves on nearly 250 contracts signed between leading French companies and institutions and our Saudi partners. Organized with the help of AFALULA, this Bpifrance delegation is continuing the work undertaken so far. It will allow the meeting, in AlUla, of 16 French companies specialized in the cultural & creative industries with one of the most important development projects of the Kingdom: the transformation of a historical jewel into a world cultural and tourist destination.”

Rachid Boulaouine, Saudi Arabia Director at Business France, adds: “Interested in the renewal linked to Vision 2030, our French companies are present in all sectors of activity. This Riyadh – Al ULa mission aims to amplify our presence on these new trends and opportunities offered by this new Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are looking for experienced partners who bring innovative technologies and who have chosen to invest in human capital to share their expertise and contribute to this transformation of the kingdom’s economy. Saudi Arabia is in a competition with offensive investment strategies and will only retain the best racehorses. Alongside our privileged partner BpiFrance, Business France will intervene in Riyadh on the organization of a major symposium ‘Saudi French strategic partnership shaping the creativity of the future” where our solutions will be honored in front of the largest donors, local orders and ICC project leaders. A superb Team France Export action to help our companies in Saudi Arabia win.”

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