Al-Mubti: Summit resolutions will boost joint Arab investment

Updated 24 January 2013
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Al-Mubti: Summit resolutions will boost joint Arab investment

The resolutions taken by the Arab Economic Summit, which concluded its deliberations in Riyadh on Tuesday, will have a big impact on boosting joint Arab investment, said Abdullah Al-Mubti, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers’ board of directors.
He said the proposal made by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to increase capital funds of Arab organizations and joint investment companies would help them give more loans to accelerate economic growth in the region.
He said the readiness expressed by the king in his opening address to pay Saudi Arabia’s share in the increased capital funds reflected Riyadh’s pioneering role in supporting Arab economic issues and poor countries.
It has been estimated that the increase in capital funds of Arab organizations would help channel more than $ 10 billion to strategic projects in Arab League countries.
The CSC chief urged all Arab countries to follow the Kingdom’s example by committing themselves to pay the extra funds to help Arab organizations and joint firms drive the region’s economic growth.
Al-Mubti commended Arab leaders for their support to the private sector considering its important role in propelling growth. The private sector forum organized by CSC in Riyadh had presented 21 development initiatives including those related to food security, training and employment, support for small and medium enterprises, investment in information technology, center for supporting business pioneers and housing investment.
Al-Mubti underscored the summit’s decision to endorse the newly amended investment agreement, saying that it would encourage Arab businessmen to invest in their countries. “The Arab strategy for renewable energy passed by the summit would encourage many countries to make use of renewable energy for development projects,” he pointed out.
The inter-Arab investment agreement would allow a free flow of investment and capital between states. The agreement stipulates that the member states undertake to protect Arab investors in their territories.
However, it does not require modifications of national regulations, as it gives Arab investors the freedom to invest in any of the states party to the agreement within the national laws of each country.
The summit leaders also pledged to remove obstacles preventing the establishment of a free trade zone this year. They were also determined to clear obstacles to achieve the Arab customs union fully by 2015.
Foreign direct investment inflow dropped from $ 68.7 billion in 2010 to $ 43 billion in 2011, a year that saw a wave of Arab Spring uprisings hitting several nations. Trade between Arab countries comprises no more than 10 percent of total Arab commerce.


Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

Ethiopian immigrants returning from Saudi Arabia arrive at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport in this December 10, 2013 photo. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopians were sent home in 2013 but they have apparently been replaced by new arrivals in the succeeding years. (AFP file photo)
Updated 20 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

  • Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopian migrants were repatriated from Saudi Arabia in 2013.
  • Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 Ethiopian migrants this year.

ADDIS ABABA: Saudi Arabia has agreed to release 1,000 Ethiopian nationals who have been in prison in the Gulf state for a variety of offenses, Ethiopian state-affiliated media said on Saturday.

The decision was made following a request by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was in Riyadh on an official visit this week, Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The agency said among the detainees were 100 women. It did not disclose what the charges were. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian nationals live in the Gulf region, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants.

So far, 160,000 have arrived back in the Horn of Africa country.

During his recent visit to Riyadh, Ahmed met with leaders of Ethiopian community and discussed setting up a strong partnership between the government and the community to address challenges they are facing.

The trip is his first outside Africa after three visits to neighbouring countries. The East African nation secured thousands of exit visas for its nationals and flew them back home.

Established diplomatic relations in 1948, Saudi Arabia is among the first Arab countries to open embassy in Addis Ababa.