Our members include some of Ireland's leading corporations and represent every major industrial sector.
The counterpart of the ISABC in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), which sponsors and represents the interests of the Saudi business sector both internally and externally. The Joint Business Council is comprised of key business leaders from both countries and on the Irish side coordinates its work with the respective Embassies and with Enterprise Ireland.
The ISABC works with the Irish and Saudi authorities and has strong working ties with a number of public and private sector organisations which help us to facilitate bilateral trade and investment activity. In particular we seek to promote direct contacts between relevant Saudi and Irish firms and will assist companies striving to establish a market presence in either country.
Our Board members, which include two former Irish Ambassadors who served in Saudi Arabia, and company directors with unrivalled knowledge of specific market sectors within the Saudi business scene, work to foster high-level links between decision-makers and business leaders in both countries and to deliver exclusive market intelligence to our members.
The Council will also assist in the establishment of partnerships and joint ventures and in raising the profile of businesses in each other's countries. We also promote commercial opportunities and introductions to political and industry decision-makers, potential partners, clients, investors and in-country agents through participation in our programme of networking events.
To foster the strategic business alliance between Ireland and Saudi Arabia. We deliver key services to enable Irish companies to grow their business interests in Ireland and Saudi markets by connecting companies to relevant business prospects and decision-makers.
To create enduring and sustainable bilateral commercial relations between Ireland and Saudi Arabia
Our core focus is hosting Joint Business Councils (JBC’s) every six months. These consist of two-day events which comprise meetings and networking across approximately 30 Irish and 30 Saudi company representatives. The last JBC in Riyadh in March 2019 saw the attendance of 43 Saudi companies. Since we began in 2012 JBCs have taken place alternatively in Ireland and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and at least 18 agreements/MOUs have been signed between member companies.
The links between Ireland and Saudi Arabia predate the winning of Independence in 1922. In November 1919 Prince Faisal, later King Faisal, visited Ireland and was photographed with his official party at lunch with the Lord Lieutenant at the then Viceregal Lodge, now Arus An Uachtarain, seat of the President of Ireland. Prince Faisal praised the beauty of the Phoenix Park.
Renewed friendship followed with the landmark visit by the Crown Prince, later King, Abdullah to Dublin in June 1988. This laid the roadmap for bilateral cooperation, which resulted in several important agreements between the two countries, including the formation of the intergovernmental Saudi-Irish Joint Economic Commission (JEC) which had its latest meeting in Dublin in February 2018.
The origin of the ISABC is the decision of the governments at the JEC meeting in Dublin in June 2009 that a joint business council be established between the two countries. The board of ISABC held its first meeting in the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Dublin in January 2011.
President Mary McAleese visited Saudi Arabia in February 2006 and Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited in January 2014, when he met with the Crown Prince, now King, Salman.