Singapore to be hub for Saudi products in Asia

Updated 22 March 2013
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Singapore to be hub for Saudi products in Asia

Singapore is set to become a hub for Saudi manufactured products in Asia.
This was predicted at the conclusion of the Saudi-Singapore Joint Business Council held in Riyadh yesterday.
Abdullah Al-Meleih, co-chairman of the Saudi-Singapore Business Council, told Arab News that the Kingdom has made a proposal to make Singapore a pivotal center for marketing and distributing Saudi products in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei.
“We are working out the modalities for the implementation of the proposal, which will be announced soon,” he added.
Currently the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation uses Singapore as a base for its petrochemical products.
The Saudi team was headed at the meeting by Abdullah Al-Mobty, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, and the Singapore team by Lee Yi Shyan, senior minister of state for trade and industry.
Representatives from seven Singaporean companies and business magnates from the capital were present at the bilateral discussions.
Al-Meleih said the meeting aimed to promote business cooperation between the two countries and further explore new areas of collaboration in the field of investments. It also provided a good platform for the parties to confront the challenges faced by the two countries in dealing with each other.
He also said that as agreed earlier, a company worth SR 100 million will be set up soon under a joint venture between Singapore and the Kingdom. The company will deal with areas of cooperation in energy, training, education and information technology, he noted, recalling that a memorandum of understanding was signed as a follow-up to the last business council meeting in Singapore.
Al-Meleih said the restructuring company will have offices in both Riyadh and Singapore. The company aims to invest in projects worth SR 1.5 billion in the Kingdom.
In response to a request made by one of the Saudi participants to allow Saudis to enter Singapore on visas issued at the port of entry, Shyan said the ministries of interior of the two governments predetermine visa requirements under a bilateral agreement.
“At present, we issue multiple entry visas from two to five years, which is good enough for business and leisure travelers visiting the country,” he noted, pointing out that these entry visas are issued by the embassy in Riyadh inside three working days.
He quoted the latest figures to say that trade between the two countries was worth 23 billion Singaporean dollars.


Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

The Arab coalition is striving to rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, says Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani. File/Getty Images
Updated 26 May 2018
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Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

  • Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis
  • The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them

LONDON: There cannot be peace in Yemen unless Houthi militias abandon their arms, said the country’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani.

The internationally recognized government will not allow Iran, which backs the Houthis, to maintain a foothold in Yemen or interfere in its internal affairs, he added.
“This terrorist regime” in Tehran, “which supplies terrorist militias all over the world, is close to collapse as a result of international and popular pressure by the Iranian people, who are suffering as their terrorist state spends billions here and there for a foolish expansionist idea,” Al-Yamani said.
“The modern and civilized world that respects international law cannot accept the existence of a state sponsor of terrorism and all subversive and terrorist militias in the region,” he added.
“If Iran wants to be part of the social, cultural and political fabric of our region, it must rationalize its behavior.” Its “terrorist behavior… encourages the spread of violence in the region,” he said.
Al-Yamani added that he will start his tenure as foreign minister by focusing on negotiations and the efforts of the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
The government is working round the clock with the envoy’s office so he can present his ideas on June 7 after consultations with the government, Al-Yamani said.
There will be meetings in the next few days with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and a special meeting with the negotiating team, all within the framework of the envoy’s efforts in the region, Al-Yamani added.
Griffiths has visited several countries in the region, and has met with Yemen’s government and the leadership of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
The Houthis “suggest that political arrangements should come before security and military arrangements,” said Al-Yamani.
But “the coup against the state in January 2015 came as a result of the preference of political over security arrangements,” he added.
“And after the Houthis achieved their goals, they turned against the national consensus reflected in the peace and partnership agreement, under which the president provided facilities to save the homeland from the fate we have reached today,” Al-Yamani said.
“We cannot talk about any political arrangements because we consider them to be a foregone conclusion if we achieve the withdrawal and delivery of heavy and medium weapons and missiles,” he added. “We cannot retry something we tried before... The coup must end.”
The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them,” he said. “Heavy and medium weapons should be handed over, and those militias must be withdrawn.”
Al-Yamani criticized Iran’s ambassador to the UN for speaking in dovish language while his country causes destruction in Yemen.
“Most of what we have been able to remove of the mines planted by the Houthis had the trademark of Iranian industry,” Al-Yamani said.
“Even if we achieve peace today, we will need decades to demine... There will be no possibility of safe living in the areas where mines were planted.”
Al-Yamani expressed the gratitude of his government and people for the Saudi-led coalition’s support for the government to achieve security and peace in Yemen and the whole region.
Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, rebuild the Yemeni psyche destroyed by the war, distribute goods throughout Yemen, and reconstruct what was destroyed by the Houthi war machine,” he said.
“All this confirms that the project of restoring the state… is the project of life,” which is “opposed to the project of death brought by Iran and its Houthi militias to Yemen,” he added.
This interview is simultaneously published in Asharq Al-Awsat.