Published: Dec 14, 2010 23:30 Updated: Dec 14, 2010 23:30
RIYADH: Within the framework of the preparations to hold the Fifth Global Competitiveness Forum, Amr Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways (BA), attended an agreement signing ceremony between SAGIA and BA recently. The deal, which was concluded, stipulates that BA will sponsor the forum. The agreement also envisages that that BA will support the forum to be held in Riyadh on Jan. 22. The forum is organized by SAGIA and is attended by business leaders and academics on the global and local spheres.
Al-Dabbagh expressed his thanks and appreciation of BA for supporting the fifth session of the forum. He said: “SAGIA appreciates British Airways’ support of the fifth session of the Global Competitiveness Forum. Such sponsorship reflects the interest of the major world companies in the forum which became a principal meeting point for business leaders, especially that the BA is the largest airline company in the UK and the third largest in Europe.”
On his side, Martin Broughton, chairman of BA, referred to the significance given to the forum by the company. “BA prides in sponsoring the Global Competitiveness Forum. The Kingdom is one of our most important markets in our global network. Recently, we increased the number of our flights to Riyadh – a matter that reflects our commitment toward the Saudi market. We are looking forward to more cooperation with SAGIA in other future initiatives,” he said.
The agreement is part of the partnership program between the private sector and SAGIA. The program will support the National Competitiveness Center, which pays attention to improving the Kingdom ranking with regard to competitiveness in the field of business on the international scale. The center also is concerned with improving the investment environment in the Kingdom in terms of developing the systems and services provided by SAGIA, ministries and governmental authorities with the ultimate goal of enhancing the competitive position of the Kingdom on the global level.
BA has an international network, which covers more than 150 destinations in 75 countries. It is making preparations to merge with Spanish Iberia next January. It expressed its expectations that the economic boom will continue and announced its plans to increase its capacity with a percentage ranging between four and five percent next year.