Smooth transition as Salman becomes new king

Updated 24 January 2015
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Smooth transition as Salman becomes new king

King Salman vowed on Friday to continue with policies meant to solidify and strengthen the Kingdom as he ascended the throne following the death of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
Salman takes over as the ultimate authority amid global and domestic challenges compounded by the plunging price of oil in recent months and the rise of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria.
In his first speech as king, shown live on Saudi television, he pledged to maintain the same approach to ruling the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam as his predecessors and called for unity among Arab states.
“We will continue, God willing, to hold the straight course that this country has followed since its establishment by the late King Abdulaziz,” he said.
The new king said the Kingdom “is in dire need today to be united and maintain solidarity” at a time of turmoil in many parts of the world.
“I ask God to assist me to serve our dear people and realize their hopes, and to preserve our country and our nation’s security and stability, and to protect them from all evils, for He is the master and able to do that. There’s no strength except with God,” he added.
On King Abdullah’s death, which was announced by the royal court at past midnight last night,
King Salman prayed that God “bestow his soul in mercy and to admit him in his vast paradise and to reward him the best best reward for the outstanding work in the service of his religion and homeland and nation.”

Succession
With Salman’s ascension of the throne, then Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin has become the crown prince and deputy prime minister, while Interior Minister Mohammed bin Naif is the new deputy crown prince and second deputy prime minister.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the new defense minister and head of the royal court, the Saudi Press Agency said.
Prince Mohammed bin Naif becomes the first grandson of the kingdom’s founding ruler, King Abdulaziz, known as Ibn Saud, to take an established place in the line of succession.
All Saudi kings since King Abdulaziz’s death in 1953 have been his sons.
King Abdullah’s legacy has been described as an effort to overhaul the kingdom’s economic and social systems to address a looming demographic crisis by creating private sector jobs and making young Saudis better prepared to take them.
“I think (Salman) will continue with Abdullah’s reforms. He realizes the importance of this. He’s not conservative in person, but he values the opinion of the conservative constituency of the country,” said Jamal Khashoggi, general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.