Saudi Fund for Development, Sri Lanka sign 2 loan agreements

Saudi Fund For Development (SFD) Adviser Abdullah Al-Shedokhi, left, and R.H.S Samaratunga, secretary to the treasury in Sri Lanka, right, sign the agreements in the presence of Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, standing second right. (AN photo)
Updated 07 April 2017
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Saudi Fund for Development, Sri Lanka sign 2 loan agreements

RIYADH: The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) signed two loan agreements with Sri Lanka to assist the island nation in two projects.
SFD Adviser Abdullah Al-Shedokhi and R.H.S Samaratunga, secretary to the treasury of Sri Lanka, signed the SR263 million agreement for the Mahaweli Left Bank Basin Development and the Wayamba University/Township Development Project.
Mahaweli Left Bank Lower Basin Development Project is a proposal made by Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, minister of irrigation and water resources management, at an estimated cost of $430 million, with the objective of providing irrigated water during two seasons for 4,000 acres of land to include Kinniya and Kantale Trincomalee and the Polonnaruwa districts.
Wayamba University of Sri Lanka (WUSL), which is located at Kuliyapitya and Makandura with easy access from Colombo, Kurunegala, and Kandy, is a modern learning and research institution in Sri Lanka.
According to Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, the SFD has been instrumental in financing several projects in the island. The construction of a bridge, which links the Eastern town of Trincomalee with Kinniya, a Muslim village, is beneficial to some 100,000 people living in Kinniya. The residents were using ferry as their mode of transport to come to Trincomalee, the northeastern capital of the island. The Trincomalee-Batticaloa highway was also widened with the same funds allocated under the agreement.
Earlier, Sri Lanka government signed two loan agreements with SFD to obtain partial financing for the $140 million rehabilitation of the A5 Road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi.
The A5 corridor is one of the major highways linking parts of the Central Province to Eastern Province geopolitical zones of the country, which carries the bulk of the traffic between Batticaloa and Peradeniya via Badulla.
Improvements to A5 road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi would enhance access to markets and social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals and integrate isolated segments of the rural population into the overall economy, the Finance Ministry said in a short statement on Friday.


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.