‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

Updated 26 February 2015
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‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

A senior government official has urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in the transport sector.
Abdulaziz Al-Ohaly, president of the Public Transport Authority (PTA), indicated that there are promising opportunities in the Saudi transport sector in the coming years.
He was speaking during the panel discussion on “At the crossroads, how Saudi Arabia can leverage its unique position and become a leader in global transport” at the GCF 2015, which ended in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The other panelists included Martin Powell, head of urban development, Siemens AG; Pierre Verzat, CEO of SYSTRA; Temel Kotil, president and CEO, Turkish Airlines; Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC); and Lord Peter Mandelson, British Labour Party politician and president of the International Think Tank Policy Network, who was the moderator.
Al-Ohaly called on investors to take advantage of the opportunities in projects that will come into force soon in construction and maintenance services, information technology, advertising and media consulting, support services and the supply of vehicles and equipment.
The PTA was established recently to ease the transport problems in all parts of the Kingdom, Al-Ohaly said, adding that the government bears the maintenance and the operations costs of the authority.
“The objectives of the PTA focus on the regulation and supervision of public transport and encourage investment in this area and capacity building,” Al-Ohaly said. He noted that public transport contributes to the development of cities and facilitates the movement and job creation, and reduces the adverse environmental impact of the traffic congestion and waste of time on the roads.
He said the Kingdom is in the process of introducing a new transport system, which includes Metro rail, and enhanced road, maritime and air networks.
He said the Kingdom has developed transport networks between the cities. To ease road travel, he said, the Kingdom has signed several agreements with the neighboring countries to formalize the Custom regulations. Such projects including the new rail projects would generate employment opportunities for youths of the country.
Martin Powell said: "The rapid growth of the Kingdom's population has necessitated new transport programs to facilitate movement of people from one end to the other to do their daily and business work.
Temel Kotil said there is a movement of 30 million passengers traveling annually in and out of the country and therefore the Kingdom needs more airports to ease air travel, which will save the time of the people.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.