French entrepreneurs to build eco-friendly factories

Updated 01 January 2014

French entrepreneurs to build eco-friendly factories

Saudi and French businessmen held joint workshops in the Council of Saudi Chambers on water and energy, current projects in Saudi Arabia, their economic indicators including budgets, economic activities and the developing infrastructure.
The Saudi investors discussed the challenges facing these sectors represented in the increasing demand for energy, electricity and water due to the expansion of industrial projects and the population growth, saying that the Kingdom is moving toward renewable energy resources.
The French businessmen offered to build eco-friendly factories and a pioneering hospital in the Kingdom.
The workshop reviewed investment opportunities in the Kingdom in the field of setting up electrical, water, energy and gas stations. The French businessmen expressed their interest in the Saudi market and their wish to share their expertise with Saudi companies.
The second workshop discussed available investment opportunities in transportation, health and educational services, in addition to rural development and human resources. Specialists in a number of government and private organizations made a power point presentation on the transportation strategy in the Kingdom. They reviewed projects that have been implemented in the past and projects being implemented now, especially in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. These included Tunnel development and railroad projects, as well as the Makkah and Riyadh Metro stations.
The workshop discussed the Kingdom’s needs in the health sector, which has many partnership opportunities, along with education, which is in need of development. The Saudis focused on the challenges to technology and the environment while the French presented the most important companies working in the Kingdom in transportation, railroads, metro stations, health, water and waste disposal pointing out that France has wide experience in these fields.

Pakistani film director hopes to repeat Saudi premiere success with new movie

Updated 6 sec ago

Pakistani film director hopes to repeat Saudi premiere success with new movie

  • “Parchi” became the first Pakistani film, to be released in the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani film director is hoping his new rom-com can premiere in Saudi Arabia to the same packed houses as his last movie did a year ago.

Azfar Jafri said he wanted his fourth film “Heer Maan Ja” to open in Riyadh to an even bigger response than its predecessor “Parchi” when it premiered in the capital in January last year.

“Parchi” became the first Pakistani film, and one of only a handful of international movies, to be released in the Kingdom after the lifting of a near 40-year ban on cinemas. Its screening marked another milestone for a raft of modernization and cultural reforms in the Kingdom, spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“To say it (the ‘Parchi’ premiere) was the best experience is an understatement,” said its producer and CEO of IRK films, Imran Raza Kazmi. “I was completely overwhelmed with the amazing response we received. We weren’t expecting a crowd of that intensity. The number of shows and seats had to be increased.”

He said the release of “Parchi,” which tells the story of a group of friends who hit trouble when one of them owes a gangster money, had paved the way for future Pakistani filmmakers to showcase their work in Saudi Arabia.

Kazmi recently forged an agreement with a Saudi production company to distribute Pakistani movies in the Kingdom.

“We have some interesting projects lined up and we will be recruiting talent from there (Saudi Arabia) as well, so that should be interesting,” Kazmi told Arab News. 

Saudi cinemas were closed in the early 1980s, but in 2017 the government said it would lift the ban and open around 350 movie theaters with more than 2,500 screens by 2030, generating nearly $1 billion in annual box office sales.

“It is a matter of pride to be the torchbearer of sharing entertainment, culture and our unique voice with audiences in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Jafri said. 

Last year’s “Parchi” premiere was held at the Pakistani embassy in Riyadh and was attended by a host of senior officials.

Jafri said: “I believe it’s a good time for the Pakistani film industry.”