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.”


Riyadh plane-spotters treated to National Day fly-past by Saudi Royal Air Force

Updated 9 min 39 sec ago
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Riyadh plane-spotters treated to National Day fly-past by Saudi Royal Air Force

RIYADH: Keen plane-spotters were treated to a display from the Saudi Royal Air Force on Monday in the skies over Riyadh, to mark Saudi National Day.
A group of fighter jets — Typhoons, Torinos, F15s, F15Cs and MRTTs — were painted in green and adorned with Saudi Arabian livery and performed a fly-past.
Those who could not get to Riyadh will have another chance to see the procession as it will be flying over parts of the eastern region on Tuesday, including the King Fahd Causeway, Al-Khobar Corniche and Al-Aqeer.