Will Israeli companies participate in the NEOM project?

Israeli companies have expressed their intention to invest in the project of the city of “NEOM” Saudi Arabia, announced by the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is scheduled to be built on an area of 26.000 square kilometers and overlooking the Red Sea.

Israeli private sector companies intend to invest in the city, which will be built in an area relatively close to the Israeli border, while other reports say Russia and China, both involved in the project, are interested in bringing Israel into the project.

According to reports, Russia and China are seeking to annex Israel, which has access to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, thereby transferring exports via a railway network in Israel, saving the cost of sailing around Sinai and the cost of the Egyptian Suez Canal.

A Saudi private sector official, who declined to be named, told Anatolia news agency that it was impossible to announce an Israeli presence in the Saudi project, “as long as public diplomatic relations remain non-existent between the two countries.”

The project stretches from northwestern Saudi Arabia to Aqaba, Jordan, and northeast of Egypt, as the region is a transit point for East-West trade. The Saudi official, who did not deny Israel’s superiority in the sectors targeted by the project, said Riyadh had already started talks with international companies to work on the project.

But the Jerusalem Post quoted prominent Israeli business person Eril Mergalit as saying there were jobs for Israeli companies in the project.

“What political leaders do not understand is that things will not happen (normalization of relations) unless there are joint economic opportunities,” said Marglet, who recently visited Gulf states.

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman has come up with a project of regional cooperation … It gives an invitation to the Israelis to speak for regional economic cooperation through the concept of innovation,” Marglet said.

Hani al-Alami, a prominent business person in the Palestinian telecommunications sector, said that Israeli companies are able to enter NEOM when they like, thanks to the tools they own.

Alami, the owner of an Internet service provider in Palestine, said that Israeli companies had the best tools for the future technology industry, which is the focus of NEOM.

“At least Israeli companies with foreign nationalities will have a presence in the upcoming project … Israeli companies are superior in cyberspace and the Internet of things that is invading the world today,” he said.

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