Germany supports Saudi Arabia's economic plan: Envoy

German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller
Updated 21 April 2017
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Germany supports Saudi Arabia's economic plan: Envoy

RIYADH: German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller said on Thursday that Germany supports the Kingdom in realizing its Vision 2030 by offering high-tech products and know-how.
The German envoy made the announcement as he addressed more than 150 representatives of companies, business chambers and government ministries during the German Breakfast and Catalog Show at a local hotel in the Saudi capital on Thursday.
The event has been held for 13 years and has a long tradition of helping establish bilateral trade relations, which amounted to almost €8 billion (SR32 billion) in 2016.
Oliver Oehms, of the German Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO), said, “This is the largest catalog show in many years, which demonstrates the importance of the business relations between our two great countries.”
Oehms said that German firms could offer high-tech products and know-how to add to the diversification of the economy and strengthen the role of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Haller said that Vision 2030 is a most ambitious blueprint for a modern and diversified economy that is not only resource-based, but also above all knowledge-based, adding that this makes Germany well-positioned to support Vision 2030 since it’s knowledge-based.
He also said that he had met with Ahmed Fahd Al-Fuhaid, governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), to discuss ways to enhance joint cooperation in the field of vocational training.
“In visiting this country, I was so impressed by the competence and energy of the young generation. There’s enormous potential among them,” he said.
He also underscored the fact that it’s in Germany’s interest to keep its links with Saudi Arabia, citing sustainability aspect in energy efficiency.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

  • Qiddiya Project is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom
  • The first phase will be completed by 2022

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will launch the construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh Wednesday, authorities said, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the Kingdom seeks to diversity its oil-reliant economy.
The 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, would rival Walt Disney and include high-end theme parks, motor sport facilities and a safari park, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns,” project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.
Qiddiya chief executive Michael Reininger said he expects the project will draw foreign investors in entertainment and other sectors, but did not specify the total cost of construction.
Such projects are the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled liberal change agent who is the chief architect of the sweeping “Vision 2030” reform program.
Saudi Arabia has dazzled investors with several plans for hi-tech “giga projects,” funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund, but some skeptics question their viability in an era of cheap oil.
The Kingdom has unveiled blueprints to build NEOM, a mega project billed as a regional Silicon Valley, in addition to the Red Sea project, a reef-fringed resort destination — both worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Analysts say the projects could create funding pressures at a time when the government faces a yawning budget deficit and growth in the Kingdom’s non-oil economy is only slowly gathering pace.
The reform stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the Kingdom has been reeling from an oil slump since 2014.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.