Saudi/French deals expected during prince’s visit

The prince will meet with senior French leaders including President Francois Hollande

Saudi Arabia is expected to sign several agreements and memoranda of understanding with France during Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to the country.

Saudi ambassador to France Khaled Al-Anqari told Saudi Press Agency the prince will meet with senior French leaders including President Francois Hollande, Premier Manuel Valls, defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and leaders of public and private sector organisations.

“The visit will further bolster the historic relations between the two countries,” he said.

The trip follows Prince Salman’s United States tour where he met with President Barack Obama, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and several high profile business leaders.

Read: Saudi prince to meet Obama as he promotes his reform plan in the US

It comes following the unveiling of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which is intended to diversify the hydrocarbon-rich economy away from oil.

Read: In depth: Saudi prince unveils plans to end “addiction” to oil

The 3rd edition of the Saudi – French Business Opportunities Forum will be held alongside the visit.

One area where deals could be expected is housing, after Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry was given permission to seek deals with companies in the United Kingdom, France and China to help build 1.5 million homes in the coming years.

Read: Saudi Arabia seeks partners to build 1.5 million homes

Trade between the two countries totals around SAR 53bn ($14.1bn), according to the ambassador.