Jazan Economic City to become key contributor to Saudi economy

Updated 26 February 2015
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Jazan Economic City to become key contributor to Saudi economy

Jazan Economic City will become a key contributor to Saudi Arabia’s economy as current infrastructure and projects development will provide a solid base for further investments in heavy and secondary industries, petrochemicals, mining and conversion industries, Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco said at the Jazan Economic Forum (JEF) in Jazan City.
The forum is being attended by over 500 Saudi Arabian and foreign dignitaries and business leaders, and is showcasing investment opportunities at the Jazan Economic City (JEC) project.
In his opening remarks, Al-Falih said the company was proud to play a key role in the development of Jazan. 
He said Jazan Economic City was part of the Saudi Government’s vision to create economic bases across the Kingdom to achieve a diversified economy and balanced regional development. 
“The Jazan Economic City  vision seeks to invest in the region’s natural resources, diverse geographic features and human resources to make a major positive difference to the area’s future, so that Jazan will become a significant  contributor to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Al-Falih.
According to Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco will build Phase I of the project which will include smart infrastructure to meet energy, utilities and transportation requirements of a diverse industrial base. 
“Saudi Aramco has been entrusted to build Jazan’s strategic infrastructure through the development of a refinery and terminal, a power plant, a commercial seaport, a water desalination plant, roads and water and sanitary drainage systems, in addition to connecting electricity,” he said.
Jazan’s rich endowment of mineral and agricultural resources makes it ideal for the region to prosper and thrive into a major economic city in the Kingdom, he added.
Al-Falih also said that Saudi Aramco has taken a pro-active approach to human capital development for the Jazan people by launching a number of training initiatives to create a highly-capable and qualified workforce, drawn primarily from the area’s youth, to fill jobs in all stages of the project. 
These skills and training initiatives began in 2014 when Saudi Aramco and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) signed the agreement of the Jazan Contractors Alliance for Training and Employment, also known as “Maharat” by launching two training institutes.
“The Saudi Aramco — TVTC alliance is an innovative strategic partnership with the refinery project’s contractors to train and employ 5,000 young people from Jazan in various construction-related professions and crafts over four years.  Longer term, we aspire for the number of jobs available in Jazan to reach 75,000,” said Al-Falih.


India names Modi demonetization backer as cenbank head

Visitors are seen standing next to a logo of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at the bank's head office in Mumbai on December 5, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 12 December 2018
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India names Modi demonetization backer as cenbank head

  • Das — a high-profile backer of Modi’s controversial 2016 move to scrap high-value currency notes, known as demonetization

MUMBAI: Ex-finance ministry official Shaktikanta Das took charge of the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday, in a swift appointment expected to ease a dispute with the government as it pushes for looser credit rules ahead of a general election.
The announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration came just a day after Urjit Patel resigned from the post, following months of clashes between the two institutions over lending curbs and how to deploy the central bank’s surplus reserves.
Pressure on the RBI to take immediate steps to boost the economy, including a transfer of the excess reserves to the government, could well rise after Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered likely election losses in three key states on Tuesday.
Das — a high-profile backer of Modi’s controversial 2016 move to scrap high-value currency notes, known as demonetization — will serve a three-year term as governor, effective immediately.
RBI watchers said they expected the 61-year-old, who retired last year as secretary of the department of economic affairs having previously served on the RBI’s board, to put relations between the Mumbai-based bank and the finance ministry in New Delhi on a stabler footing.
Investors will also look closely at his ability to hold up against outside influences after recent efforts by the Modi government to gain greater control over the central bank’s regulatory powers.
“The incoming governor will have to work hard to prove that he has his own independent mind,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at Hdfc Securities.
Investors said any openly political appointee with little macro-economic experience, would not sit well with financial markets that already sold off following the BJP’s election setbacks.
But Ashish Vaidya, executive director and head of trading at DBS Bank in Mumbai, said he expected India’s debt and currency markets to react positively.
“He is a bureaucrat...We expect the RBI to take a pragmatic approach under him, be pro-growth and change its stance going ahead given that inflation has come off sharply,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Reuters partner ANI that the government acknowledged the bank’s independence.
“Government will fully support the RBI and coordinate with it in areas where consultations of government are required to make sure India’s economy benefits from both government policy decisions and areas which fall within domain of the RBI,” ANI tweeted, quoting Jaitley.

SWIFT APPOINTMENT
Pronab Sen, India’s former chief statistician, said he was surprised by the speed of Das’s appointment.
“If you have a situation where a position as important as the governor of the RBI is filled within 24 hours of the resignation of the incumbent, that will raise eyebrows,” Sen told Reuters.
“People are going to say, clearly this guy had already been identified. And, the situation was created where Urjit Patel had to quit.”
Das — widely seen as a contender for the top RBI job after Raghuram Rajan’s term ended in 2016 — did not answer calls from Reuters to his mobile phone.
RBI officials who have worked with him closely said Das was likely to be more inclusive in the decision-making process than Patel.
“He has a balanced approach and is good at consensus building,” said a former deputy governor. .”..We have had our fair share of differences. But he has always been solution-centric rather than festering on those differences.”
Das worked in the finance ministry under both Modi’s government and the previous coalition led by the main opposition Congress party and was also involved in drafting the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code aimed at protecting small investors.
He came under fire for his pro-demonetization stance and was the most vocal bureaucrat at the time Modi withdrew the high-value bank notes to fight tax evasion.
Das last year criticized the methodology of global rating agencies and sought a sovereign rating upgrade for India.