New areas of Saudi-Swiss cooperation identified

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Saudi and Swiss officials sign an accord during a meeting trade and investment in Jeddah on Tuesday. (Courtesy: MCI)
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Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi with Swiss Minister of Economic Affairs and Education Johann Schneider-Ammann during a meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday. (Courtesy: MCI)
Updated 18 July 2017

New areas of Saudi-Swiss cooperation identified

RIYADH: New areas of cooperation in trade were identified on Sunday during a meeting held in Jeddah between Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi and his Swiss counterpart, Johan Schneider-Ammann.
During the meeting, the Saudi-Swiss sides discussed opportunities between the Kingdom and Switzerland and explored means of developing trade and investment opportunities, especially in the field of non-oil exports, as well as removing any obstacles that may hinder such activities.
There are 113 Swiss companies in the Kingdom, 94 of which are service companies and 19 are industrial. The volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Switzerland reached SR10.33 billion ($2.75 billion) in 2016.
It was also decided to provide Saudi companies with the latest technologies and expertise to raise the quality of Saudi products and facilitate their entry into European and international markets.
The two sides also stressed the importance of the Saudi-Swiss Business Council’s role in the promotion of business and investment activities between the two countries, and its contribution to current development issues, especially in the fields of high-tech precision industries and the search for specific quality investment opportunities.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 47 min 4 sec ago

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”