The ninth meeting of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) between the Governments of Ireland and Saudi Arabia was held in Riyadh from 18-19 February 2014, six weeks after the visit of the large Irish trade mission headed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton.
The JEC was established following the signature of an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of Ireland and Saudi Arabia in 1983.
The Irish side was led by Colm Ó Floinn, the Director-General for Trade and Promotion at the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was accompanied by representatives of the Dept. of Agriculture, the Dept. of Education, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and by Ambassador Niall Holohan from the Riyadh Embassy.
The Saudi side was led by Dr Yousef Al-Saadon, the Deputy Minister for Economic and Cultural Affairs at the Saudi Foreign Ministry, and a team that included Ambassador Abdulaziz Aldriss from the Saudi Embassy in Dublin.
Among the items discussed in the course of the meeting were:
- Increasing the number of Saudi students at Irish universities and colleges
- Improving the access for Irish beef and lamb to the Saudi market - Co-operation in water technology and wastewater management
- Co-operation on matters of civil aviation including proposals for the signing of a bilateral air transport agreement between the two countries
- Co-operation in the field of science and technology.
A Protocol was signed at the conclusion of the meeting referring to the above issues. It was agreed furthermore that the next session of the Joint Commission would be held in Dublin at a date to be decided.