Princess Astrid lauds interfaith initiative of King Abdullah

Updated 20 May 2014
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Princess Astrid lauds interfaith initiative of King Abdullah

Princess Astrid of Belgium has lauded the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in promoting dialogue between religions and civilizations.
“We hold the initiatives taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to promote dialogue between religions and civilizations in high esteem,” she said during a special reception hosted by the Belgian Embassy on Sunday night.
The princess also noted the growing relations between her country and Saudi Arabia in the fields of small and medium-sized enterprises, technology transfer, trade and investment.
“We equally value the king’s efforts in developing the country’s human potential in different fields, including social advancement and employment for women,” she said.
Saudi investment in Belgium is on the rise, she said.
“The economic mission, which was headed by my father, King Albert, and my brother, King Philip, had been welcomed here with great warmth and generosity in the past,” said the princess. “Many Belgian companies are already present in the Saudi market and are happy to be operating here.”
“I personally have retained fond memories of your rich culture and history,” she said. “To our business community, Saudi Arabia has become a trusted partner in many fields and projects.”
“It is also a privilege to be able to enjoy this dinner at the elegant residence of our ambassador to the Kingdom, which blends Belgian architecture with local architecture and traditions. This marks the perfect starting point of our economic mission to Saudi Arabia,” she said.
“This is not my first visit to Saudi Arabia. I had previously been afforded the opportunity to meet many Saudis from all walks of life,” she said. “This time, I am here in a different capacity as the head of the economic mission and I am very happy to be back.”
The delegation consists of some 170 companies and 350 business representatives who have registered to be part of the mission.
“Our delegation will move on to other cities in coming days, such as Jubail and Jeddah,” she said. “I was asked by King Philip to represent him during this mission and to be leader of this mission comprising a large group of representatives of Belgian companies, about 50 of whom are businesswomen.”
“Our big corporations were well represented, but we have also growing interest from our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the Saudi market,” she said. She said the delegation represents a wide variety of sectors, ranging from energy to environment, logistics and health care to sport infrastructure, banking and services.


Saudi researchers join T20 summit in Japan

From left to right: Dr. Fahad Al-Turki, head of Saudi delegation; Kenichiro Sasae, president of The Japan Institute of International Affairs; Dr. Julia Pomares, co-chair of T20 Argentina during Argentine G-20 presidency; Kyoto Tsuji, vice-minister for Japanese foreign affairs; Naoyuki Yoshino, dean and CEO of the Asian Development Bank Institute; Gustavo Martinez, Argentine T20 executive director; Hiroshi Watanabe, president of the Institute for International Monetary Affairs pose during the event. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 29 min 36 sec ago
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Saudi researchers join T20 summit in Japan

  • Ways to fill economic infrastructure gaps, the US-China trade crisis analyzed

TOKYO: The world’s leading think tanks gathered for the G-20’s Think20 (T20) Japan Summit on Sunday in Tokyo, ahead of the upcoming G-20 Osaka Summit next month.
In the opening address, the president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), Kenichiro Sasae, spoke of the importance of technological advances, governance and multilateralism. 
“Technology is a tool,” he told assembled delegates. “We need two guiding symbols to harness modern technology to continue to pull economic growth. Technology has a wade-ranging impact, not only on business but also on privacy, protection.”
The T20 Summit comes amidst the backdrop of a four-day visit to the Japanese capital by US President Donald Trump.
Of the main topics discussed in closed sessions were finding innovative ways to fill economic infrastructure gaps, the US-China trade crisis, how to promote entrepreneurial ecosystems and climate change.
The host country has the privilege of selecting task forces specifically for the T20. Under the theme “Seeking a Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Society,” Japan’s T20 recommendations were based on theoretical and empirical analysis, and consist of 10 separate task forces.
They include sustainable development, climate change and environment, cooperation with Africa, Global governance and Future Politics.
Heading the Saudi T20 delegation, Dr. Fahad Al-Turki spoke to Arab News and told of the delegations’ various roles and expectations for the summit.
“We’re working with the Argentines, the Japanese and the Italians to ensure continuity on policy recommendations that will go to the G-20,” he said.
Five Saudi think tanks are being represented at the summit.
“The purpose is to have a collective effort from Saudi Arabia to represent the Kingdom at the T20. The first day went great, we talked with the authors of many of the policy briefs about our views and our recommendations,” he added.
Dr. Hossa Al-Mutairi told Arab News Saudi participation was essential, in anticipation to the 2020 G-20 Riyadh Summit.
“We participated last year as observers (at the 2018 summit in Buenos Aires), we went to learn from the Argentines, attended their sessions to understand the process of organizing T20 as well as how to select the task forces, but mainly to maintain a network with T20 members,” she said.
“One of the presentations that we had was on climate change, as Saudi Arabia cares about climate change, but we also care about economic stability. There is a connection between economics, environment and energy, you can’t separate them and we look into all energy sources.”