Philippine president to visit Saudi Arabia next year

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks on during an awarding ceremony for outstanding Filipinos and organizations overseas, in Manila, on Monday. (Reuters)
Updated 21 December 2016
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Philippine president to visit Saudi Arabia next year

RIYADH: The Philippine Embassy on Tuesday said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to visit the Kingdom next year to bolster bilateral ties between the two countries.
“President Duterte is expected to meet with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman,” Charge d’Affaires Iric C. Arribas told Arab News on Tuesday.
“The Filipino community will be informed accordingly regarding the visit so that they could meet and welcome their president,” Arribas said.
He added that the embassy is currently coordinating with Saudi officials on the exact date of the visit, which will be first for Duterte since he won the presidency in May this year.
Duterte is expected to be accompanied by members of his Cabinet, including Foreign Secretary Perfecto “Jun” R. Yasay, Jr.
There are 872,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom. Of the total number, 50 percent are in the Riyadh region. The eastern and western regions have 25 percent each.
Duterte enjoys huge popularity in the Philippines as well as in other countries like Saudi Arabia where he garnered substantial votes during the elections this year.
Arribas said that Duterte’s visit is expected to ramp up collaboration with the Kingdom in various sectors such as travel and tourism, agriculture, trade and investment, and culture, in addition to the labor sector.
He noted an increasing number of Saudi tourists in the Philippines. In 2015, a total of 50,884 Saudis visited the country, up from 27,945 in 2011.
On trade, Saudi Arabia ranked 10th as largest partner of the Philippines in 2012 and that it offers bright prospects as far as Philippine exports and services are concerned.
In the cultural sector, thousands of Filipino Muslims travel to the Kingdom to perform Haj or Umrah.


FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.