540 firms lineup for Saudi Print & Pack Exhibition

Updated 12 January 2016
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540 firms lineup for Saudi Print & Pack Exhibition

RIYADH: A total of 540 companies from 24 countries are participating in the upcoming Saudi Print & Pack, Plastics and Petrochem Exhibition, which is scheduled to commence at Riyadh Exhibition Center (REC) on Monday.

Prince Saud Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, chairman, REC, said in his announcement here on Tuesday that the major exhibiting companies would include China, Taiwan, India and Italy.
Prince Saud in his welcome address highlighted the role played by the REC over the years in upgrading the MICE Industry by organizing hundreds of conferences and attracting thousands of exhibitors and visitors.
“The Saudi Print & Pack Plastics and Petrochemicals exhibition is an annual event that gathers the decision makers from the private and public sector, to discuss the latest trends in the industry and explore the local opportunities with a global audience attending from the 24 countries participating in the event,” the prince said.
The press conference was attended by the commercial attaches of China, Taiwan, Italy and India; media representatives, and sponsors’ represented by Fawaz Al-Fawaz, chief financial officer, National Industrialization Company (Tasnee); Ayoub Al-Ghamdi, vice president commercial and logistics, Saudi Polyemrs Co.; Ahmed Bu-Hazza, supply chain general manager, Advanced Petrochemical Company.
Sami Mohammed Al-Osaimi, vice president, Elastomers, PVC, PS, PET, PMMA and POM, explained that SABIC’s participation in this exhibition aims to present innovative and economic solutions that can be developed locally to promote sustainable development.
He confirmed that SABIC is committed through its participation in the exhibition to raise awareness about sustainability as a crucial industrial concept to preserves the future of our generations and natural resources, pointing out the importance of spreading the innovation culture among their visitors during the show.
He added that the specialized chemicals sector focuses its efforts to provide specialized products that offer solutions, and new modern applications for customers and end-users.
Al-Ghamdi said: “The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to exhibit the needs of a growing market in packaging, printing, and plastics industries, and sheds light on the latest technical development and techniques for current and future demands.” Ahmed Bu-Hazza, supply chain general manager, Advanced Petrochemical Company, said, “The Saudi Print & Pack, Plastics & Petrochemicals exhibition is the largest industrial event in the Middle East, the polymers field in particular and provides opportunities to communicate at all levels, which will support the growth and development of polymers products. The industrial manufacturing, especially in the Kingdom, thus accommodates the localization of this industry and of its technical support and development of the Saudi work force and to sustain the growth of this promising market, which is compatible with the goals of our government.”
Pramod Kumar Agarwal, second secretary (economic and commercial), Embassy of India, thanked the REC for organizing this significant event and said “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest trade partner with an annual bilateral trade of around $ 40 billion.” He added that India will be represented by more than 50 companies at the show and it is also arranging a B to B event in Riyadh.
Faisal AN, economic counselor, Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan, said: “The Taiwan pavilion will host 24 suppliers who are ready to show their cutting-edge products and technologies, and prove their expertise in making plastic and rubber machinery.”


Malaysia reviews China infrastructure plans

Malaysia’s former PM Najib Razak (AFP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Malaysia reviews China infrastructure plans

  • Malaysia's scandal-mired former PM Najib Razak signed a string of deals for Beijing-funded projects, including a major rail link and a deep-sea port.
  • New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced a planned high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and neighboring Singapore will not go ahead as he seeks to reduce the country’s huge national debt.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been a loyal partner in China’s globe-spanning infrastructure drive, but its new government is to review Beijing-backed projects, threatening key links in the much-vaunted initiative.

Kuala Lumpur’s previous regime, led by scandal-mired Najib Razak, had warm ties with China, and signed a string of deals for Beijing-funded projects, including a major rail link and a deep-sea port.

But the long-ruling coalition was unexpectedly voted out last month by an electorate alienated by allegations of corruption and rising living costs.

Critics have said that many agreements lacked transparency, fueling suspicions they were struck in exchange for help to pay off debts from the financial scandal which ultimately helped bring down Najib’s regime.

The new government, led by political heavyweight Mahathir Mohammed, has pledged to review Chinese deals seen as dubious, calling into question Malaysia’s status as one of Beijing’s most cooperative partners in its infrastructure push.

China launched its initiative to revive ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global network of ports, roads and railways — dubbed “One Belt, One Road” —  in 2013.

Malaysia and Beijing ally Cambodia were seen as bright spots in Southeast Asia, with projects in other countries often facing problems, from land acquisition to drawn-out negotiations with governments.

“Malaysia under Najib moved quickly to approve and implement projects,” Murray Hiebert, a senior associate from think-tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told AFP.

Chinese foreign direct investment into Malaysia stood at just 0.8 percent of total net FDI inflows in 2008, but that figure had risen to 14.4 percent by 2016, according to a study from Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

However, Hiebert said it was “widely assumed” that Malaysia was striking quick deals with China in the hope of getting help to cover debts from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Najib and his associates were accused of stealing huge sums of public money from the investment vehicle in a massive fraud. Public disgust at the allegations — denied by Najib and 1MDB — helped topple his government.

Malaysia’s first change of government in six decades has left Najib facing a potential jail term.

New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced a planned high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and neighboring Singapore will not go ahead as he seeks to reduce the country’s huge national debt.

The project was in its early stages and had not yet received any Chinese funding as part of “One Belt, One Road.” But Chinese companies were favorites to build part of the line, which would have constituted a link in a high-speed route from China’s Yunnan province to trading hub Singapore, along which Chinese goods could have been transported for export.

Work has already started in Malaysia on another line seen as part of that route, with Chinese funding — the $14-billion East Coast Rail Link, running from close to the Thai border to a port near Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir has said that agreement is now being renegotiated.

Other Chinese-funded initiatives include a deep-sea port in Malacca, near important shipping routes, and an enormous industrial park.

It is not clear yet which projects will be amended but experts believe axing some will be positive.

Alex Holmes, Asia economist for Capital Economics, backed canceling some initiatives, citing “Malaysia’s weak fiscal position and that some of the projects are of dubious economic value.”

The Chinese foreign ministry did not respond to request for comment.

Decoder

What is the "ne Belt, One Road" initiative?

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative, started in 2013, has come to define the economic agenda of President Xi Jinping. It aims to revive ancient Silk Road trading routes with a network of ports, roads and railways.