Top Saudi businessmen upbeat over Trump’s visit to Kingdom

This undated file photo shows members of the US-Saudi Business Council attend a meeting in New York. (SPA)
Updated 18 May 2017
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Top Saudi businessmen upbeat over Trump’s visit to Kingdom

RIYADH: Top Saudi business and industry leaders are looking forward to the planned visit of US President Donald Trump to the Kingdom this week.
Yassin Saeed Al-Suroor, chairman of the Saudi International Chamber of Commerce, said the visit would boost Saudi-US relations in the economic and political fields.
The American president reportedly will leave on Friday for Saudi Arabia, the first stop of his maiden international trip.
“The visit shows the importance of Saudi Arabia to the US. It will also strengthen Saudi relations with the G-20 group where the US and the Kingdom are members,” Al-Suroor said.
He added that the visit shows the willingness of the US to participate in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as Trump comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is well on its way on implementing it.
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Meleihi, board member of the Council of Saudi Chamber and Al-Ramez International Group chairman, said the visit opens up opportunities for the Kingdom and the US.
“This early, the US is close to completing a series of arms deals and infrastructure for Saudi Arabia,” Al-Meleihi said. “The amount involved amounts to more than $100 billion.”
He added: “This was announced by a senior White House official and the arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defense capabilities.”
He said, however, the two countries could collaborate in the entertainment sector, which is a new field of investment in the Kingdom.
He said that earlier the Kingdom announced plans to build a 334-square-kilometer “entertainment city” on the outskirts of Riyadh that will provide facilities for sports, culture and recreation. Among the attractions will be a safari and a theme park.
Yasser Al-Harbi, vice chairman of ICT Company Apral International, said the Texan entertainment authority Six Flags has announced its collaboration in the entertainment sector.
He said Six Flags would provide the necessary technology and knowhow to transfer programs needed by the entertainment city under the Vision 2030.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the “city was part of wider plans to modernize the Kingdom by 2030, making Riyadh into one of the world’s top 100 cities for quality of life, as well as diversifying the economy and creating job opportunities for young people.”
Six Flags announced last June that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks as part of Vision 2030.
“The relations between the Kingdom and the US go back to 1945 and there’s synergy between the two countries,” he said.
Saleh Al-Sultan, a business consultant and an academician, added that Trump’s visit shows that the US is confident regarding the Vision 2030 plan implementation.
He said the visit could be looked at from different points of view and part of it will be economic cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia.
“The US will be looking after increased economic cooperation while Saudi Arabia will be hoping to benefit from technology transfer as well as assistance regarding Vision 2030 implementation,” he said.
He noted, “One major point that can be taken into consideration is the existence of economic cooperation between the two countries since 1974.”


Saudi Arabia’s Misk partners with UN on youth empowerment

Updated 26 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s Misk partners with UN on youth empowerment

  • The Saudi-UN partnership aims to reach and mobilize about 50 million young people around the world in support of the sustainable development goals
  • Saudi Arabia has a big youth demographic, with 60 per cent of the country’s population under the age of 25

NEW YORK: Misk Foundation, the not-for-profit philanthropic organization set up by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has joined forces with the United Nations in a ground-breaking campaign to advance the cause of young people around the world.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the UN’s New York headquarters a day after UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres launched his own initiative to enlist young people in its strategy for global sustainable development.
The Saudi-UN partnership aims to reach and mobilize about 50 million young people around the world in support of the sustainable development goals (SDG), via a series of meetings and forums as part of the UN’s Strategy for Youth.
The UN’s SDG program is a set of targets for future development, ranging from the elimination of hunger and poverty, through education and gender equality, to action on climate change and energy. It coincides with Saudi Arabia’s own Vision 2030 strategy in many respects.
Misk is the first non-governmental organization to join the campaign. “Misk’s mission is to discover, develop and empower young people to become active participants in the knowledge economy both in Saudi Arabia and globally, through partnerships such as this,” said a joint statement from the Saudi organization and the UN.
“Under the initiatives, young people’s leadership, creativity and innovation skills will be harnessed to bolster their ability to be agents for positive change during the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the SDGs in 2020.
“Adding to the existing Young Leaders for the SDGs initiative, a ‘Youth Gateway’ central knowledge hub on SDGs is planned, including a platform to map existing initiatives and provide opportunities for engagement, aimed at motivating more young people to take action. Tools will be developed to measure and track global indicators on youth development and well-being,” the statement added.
Bader Alsaker, chairman of the board of the Misk Initiatives Centre, said: "The Misk Foundation is committed to helping as many young people around the world realize their potential in the future economy and to encourage active global citizenship. The strategic agreement that we are signing today shows our commitment to this mission.
“Partnering with the United Nations will greatly enhance its vital work around the world to help young people from all backgrounds to realize their potential and meet the SDGs,” he added.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN secretary-general’s envoy on youth, added: “This major contribution towards the UN Secretariat’s work on youth will be used to operationalize the new UN Strategy on Youth with a focus on advancing our collective efforts to support youth mobilization for the 2030 Agenda worldwide.
“It comes at crucial time, immediately after the public launch of the UN’s Youth Strategy, which shows the commitment and dedication of the Misk Foundation to supporting youth development globally,” she added.
Saudi Arabia has a big youth demographic, with 60 per cent of the country’s population under the age of 25. Many of the policies of the Vision 2030 strategy to reduce oil dependency focus on the need for more and better employment for young people.
According to a recent global poll for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, young people have a far more optimistic view of their own future, as well as that of their country, than older people. “Young people in these countries are more likely to believe they can affect the way their countries are governed and that their generation will have a more positive impact on the world than their parents' generation,” Gates found.
Sultan Al-Musallam, global ambassador of the Misk Foundation, told the UN: “The core belief held by youth, that our problems can only be solved together, in a way that is blind to race, religion or region, is also the bedrock of the UN.”