Faisal Bouzo’s vision to build beneficial business ties and investment between Australia and Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In 2022, the Kingdom experienced a massive transformation, with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing by 8.7 per cent, exceeding $1 trillion.

For Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Construction & Planning Co. Ltd. (C&P®), Faisal Bouzo, the rapid growth of the Kingdom’s economy represents a clear opportunity to build new bilateral business relationships between Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Bouzo is pursuing this opportunity as the Chairman of The Australia Saudi Business Forum – Saudi Chapter, a non-profit organisation which was founded to promote and nurture the bilateral business opportunities between the two nations.

The opportunity for Australian business investment in Saudi Arabia is promising, Bouzo tells Forbes Australia, especially in growing industries like mining, trade and construction, where the market size for the construction sector alone was valued at $133.1 billion in 2022. The industry is projected to achieve an average annual growth rate of more than 4 per cent during the three-year period between 2024 and 2027.

Meanwhile, when it comes to investments, Saudi Arabia is listed by the GlobalData Country Risk Index as one the lowest risk countries for investment – a strong indicator of the opportunities available for Australian business people and investors looking to expand their interests into the Middle East.

Bouzo says that much of the economic expansion for Saudi Arabia has followed the 2016 launch of ‘Vision 2023’, a strategic plan by Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman. Its goal is to drastically transform the nation’s economy through cultivating alternative methods of national revenue and reducing dependency on oil.

With more than 20 years’ experience across sectors like construction, real estate development, and manufacturing as Managing Partner at C&P®, as well as Chairman and Board Member to multiple prestigious companies (one of which, “First Avenue Real Estate Development”, is in the process of being publicly listed in the Saudi stock exchnage), Bouzo is a major player in the market expansion of these key sectors.

“C&P®, which has been awarded “Contractor of the Year” at Saudi Arabia’s Real Estate Development Summit 2023, was founded on the basis of delivering high quality turn-key construction services and solutions, from project conception to delivery, and everything in between.” Bouzo says.

“Since inception, the company has acquired a strong reputation in the Saudi market and has gained the trust of many reputable organisations in the public and private sectors.”

It is this experience that Bouzo is utilising to help propel forward the business relationships between Australia and the Kingdom.

He was also named among the Power100 Most Influential Construction Professionals in ME, recognised for his vision to ensure the group of companies at C&P® stay true to their “respective missions”.

“Residents and expats living in Saudi Arabia have witnessed significantly positive changes in recent years,” Bouzo shares with Forbes Australia. “The Kingdom implemented multiple strategies to improve quality of life.”

“The entertainment sector has flourished on a wide-scale basis. The tourism sector is growing noticeably making Saudi Arabia a unique travel destination, especially now that Saudi Arabia has been chosen to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at NEOM, 2030 World Expo, and 2034 FIFA World Cup. All of which will contribute positively to tourism, construction, and logistics. These changes are just a few examples that have created more business opportunities and will continue to bring on a more vibrant atmosphere to the country.”

As Chairman of the Australian Saudi Business Forum – Saudi Chapter, Bouzo was instrumental in brokering an official agreement in the first quarter of 2023 with the Saudi Federation of Chambers to promote trade and investment with Australia.

The organisation has also hosted multiple Australian trade delegations in the third quarter of 2023 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with an average of 45 Australian businesses from the private and public sectors taking part in each of these delegations.

So what should Australian business people do if they are interested in exploring the business opportunities available in Saudi Arabia?

According to Bouzo, organising a discovery trip to the Kingdom to get acquainted with the country and culture is an excellent first step. He also suggests consulting with the Australia Saudi Business Forum for tailored advice and help with establishing personal connections to respective local authorities, which will grant the official registration and facilitate procedures for foreign investments to enter the Saudi market.

With his depth of experience in establishing businesses to help serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s vision for rapid growth, Bouzo says he is continually passionate about hard work, and is committed to participating in building a vibrant future for the nation.

“Saudi’s, the young generation in particular, are optimistic about the future and are happy and eager to be part of the positive changes happening in the Kingdom,” he says.