20 countries to fire up ‘North Thunder’

Updated 15 February 2016
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20 countries to fire up ‘North Thunder’

JEDDAH: Armed forces from Arab, Islamic and friendly countries started arriving in Saudi Arabia on Sunday for “North Thunder,” a military exercise to be held and commanded by the Kingdom The maneuver will be held at the King Khaled Military City (KKMC) in Hafr Al-Batin with participation of 20 countries and the GCC-formed Peninsula Shield forces as well. The participating countries are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, and Mauritius. North Thunder is the biggest military exercise of its kind in terms of the number of participating countries and military equipment, including fighter jets of different models, reflecting the quantitative and qualitative weapons the forces have. The exercise will also witness participation of a wide range of artillery, tanks, infantry, air defense systems, and naval forces in a simulation to reflect the highest level of preparedness of the 20 participating countries. North Thunder sends a clear message that the Kingdom, its sister, brotherly and friendly countries joining the maneuver are standing together in the face of all challenges to preserve peace and stability in the region and the world at large. Meanwhile, analysts said the exercise stresses that the leaderships of the participating countries fully agree with the Kingdom’s vision on the importance of the protection of peace and realization of stability in the region. Saudi Arabia is currently leading a military campaign against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. In December, it also announced formation of a 35-member alliance against terrorism.


Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

Updated 18 June 2019
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Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

  • 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.