Munich, BerlinThe oil wealth in Saudi Arabia miraculously attracts Joe Kaeser. After the CEO of Siemens recently canceled his participation in the Future Investment Initiative investor congress in October, Davis in Desert, he apparently planned a different trip to the Kingdom.
At a conference organized by the world's largest oil company Saudi Aramco, the Munich-based technology group will act as a "platinum sponsor" – and CEO Kaeser will speak at a panel discussion on "Production Localization in Saudi Arabia" on November 26.
The show fell into a complicated period in which brutal killings of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi placed tension on relations with Saudi Arabia. According to Turkish investigators, Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi commandos who arrived specifically at the Royal consulate in Istanbul.
At the weekend, US media reported that the US intelligence agency CIA assumed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had personally ordered the murder. According to a Washington Post report written by Khashoggi as a columnist, Crown Prince Khashoggi's brother was said to have assured by telephone that his visit to the embassy was safe. It is not clear whether Khalid bin Salman's brother knew of the planned murder. It seems certain, however, that the call occurred at the behest of the Crown Prince.
Donald Trump called the report on the CIA's assessment on Saturday "premature." The US president announced that he would publish a comprehensive report on the Khashoggi case in the coming days. The US has imposed sanctions on 17 individuals on Thursday.
The fact that the CEO of Siemens, Kaeser, is now planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, can again make him the target of criticism. It was not until October that Kaeser hesitated for a long time by canceling his participation in the Investor Forum in Riyadh, that usually high moral standards representing top managers were heavily criticized. Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan), Richard Branson (Virgin Group) and IMF chief Christine Lagarde have been significantly canceled in front of him. Siemens was late so the company even had to pay for the booth at "Davos in der Wüste".
Podium with minister
In Dhahran, Saudi Aramco's headquarters, Kaeser is now to discuss "Vision 2030", a major reform program that has massively criticized Crown Prince Salman. According to the "In Kingdom Total Value Added Conference" program (Iktva), Siemens boss is to discuss how UK industrial production can be improved in the future and how Saudi Arabia can become a production center for the entire region.
Kaeser will discuss with vice president Aramco, Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry of Saudi Arabia, head of the Saudi Industry Localization Initiative, and CEO of the US-based Jacobs Group.
Siemens joined this event with the joint venture company Aramco with Texas oil service company Rowan, ARO Drilling and Saudi oil industry supplier Nesma Platinum Sponsor. Foreign companies such as McDermott (US), Sinopec (China) or Saipem (Italy) are involved as sponsors of lower amounts of gold or silver.
Saudi Arabia is an important sales market for Kaeser. Among other things, Siemens produces turbines in the east – where large oil fields are located. In Riyadh, Germany was involved in the construction of the metro. In addition, Kaeser is concerned with Dresser-Rand petroleum services company. The US company he bought in 2014 amounted to $ 7.6 billion, which was widely criticized for being too expensive. Aramco, as the world's largest oil producer, is considered an important potential client for this division.
Kaeser traveled in the Saudi kingdom with great personal commitment, but also in Egypt, Iraq and other Arab countries.
For a long time, the 61-year-old Niederbayer can also rely on political support. But good relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia have felt colder for some time. And not only since the murder of Khashoggi. Sharp statements about the "foreign adventurism" of the Sigmar Gabriel Kingdom (SPD) last year also angered Riyadh.
From November 2017, the country withdrew its ambassador from Berlin for almost a year. Gabriel at that time was a statement from the German Foreign Minister. The Siemens turbine model, which for a long time graced the reception room of the Saudi embassy on Spree, had disappeared after the return of top diplomats from Riyadh.
So far, Siemens has only confirmed that Kaeser will be the speaker at the congress. This continues to apply what he said in his noisy cancellation. At that time, Kaeser had stressed that now on the Khashoggi issue, the truth must be known and justice had been done. At the same time Kaeser also emphasized the importance of dialogue.
It's always better to talk to each other and not to each other. Dan: He hinted that "Vision 2030" from Arabia could save Siemens the potential sales of 30 billion dollars. According to industry, companies have good opportunities for large orders of up to $ 20 billion, which are now in danger. Kaeser did not want to confirm this, but recently stressed at the annual press conference that such large contracts ensure employment in Germany as well.
The Supervisory Board understood the difficult situation of Kaeser. "This is really a dilemma," said an inspector Handelsblatt. "It's difficult to get out of moral discussion, and it's often unfair." Large power plants are built mainly in countries where industry and society are still developing. It was true that Kaeser was canceled in a hot situation in Riyadh. But the group does not sell weapons, and is right to keep the channel open.
In the Kaeser environment, they did not want to decide whether the Siemens boss would really take part in the Saudi Aramco event in the end. The topic changed, Kaeser observed its development appropriately.