Two global energy powers met on 11 May 2017 for the first Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum, organized by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.
The historic event was hosted by the Jeddah Chamber and brought together senior government officials from both countries to discuss investment in crucial economic sectors of energy, agriculture, fisheries and mining.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo brought a delegation of cabinet members to present investment opportunities to Saudi officials and investors.
Proceedings were opened by President Obiang and Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber.
In his inaugural address, President Obiang stated Equatorial Guinea’s will to expand areas of cooperation with Saudi Arabia. “Equatorial Guinea offers Saudi Arabia a gateway to the CEMAC region and we are committed to facilitating investment from Saudi Arabia,” he says.
“We plan to streamline visa applications for Saudi investors who wish to come to Equatorial Guinea and we have investment regulations that offer tax benefits to international companies.” Mr. Kamel said
“In order to support the greater collaboration between our countries … we are preparing to send a delegation to Equatorial Guinea to look into the areas where we can work together.”
The Chairman of Jeddah Chamber placed emphasis on agricultural investment and improving food security for Saudi Arabia.
The Forum included presentations from the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima and from Mariola Bindang Obiang, Director General of Holding Equatorial Guinea. Holding Equatorial Guinea offers to co-invest with international firms as a minority shareholder to realize projects in agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing and other sectors.
Following the presentations, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons signed a strategic agreement with Arabia Energy DMCC to cooperate on the construction and financing of the Bioko Oil Terminal, a tank farm project in Equatorial Guinea that will become West Africa’s largest oil and petroleum products storage facility.
“This was a historic day for Equatorial Guinea and Saudi Arabia, as we reinforced our shared vision for the oil and gas industry and cemented important new long-term ties,” says the Minister.
“We look forward to working with Arabia Energy on the Bioko Oil Terminal, which will be the third largest storage facility in Africa, putting Equatorial Guinea firmly on the world energy map.”
Four additional agreements were signed, creating a framework for future collaboration between the Jeddah Chamber and the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources represented by Minister Estanislao Don Malavo; the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food represented by Minister Victor G. Meile; the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and with Holding Equatorial Guinea.
The Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum follows intensive efforts by the Government of Equatorial Guinea to expand relations with countries in the Arabian Gulf. Last year, Equatorial Guinea hosted the Fourth Arab-Africa Summit and signed an agreement with Kuwait to regulate bilateral relations. The event was organized with the support of Thomas Boni Yayi, the former president of Benin, who has brokered relations between the two countries, and with thanks to pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group and Africa Oil and Power.