Saudi Arabia, Iraq discuss economic opportunities in Jeddah meeting

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih in a meeting with Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi in Jeddah on Thursday. (AN photo)
Updated 11 August 2017
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Saudi Arabia, Iraq discuss economic opportunities in Jeddah meeting

JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih discussed economic opportunities in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi.
Al-Falih told Arab News that they discussed Iraq’s huge mineral reserves, which have yet to be explored or invested in.
They also discussed the country’s fertile agricultural land as Iraq is rich with water, he added.
Al-Falih said Al-Luaibi, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation, affirmed Iraq’s commitment to reducing oil exports to shore up prices. Al-Falih said they agreed to open offices for big Saudi corporations in Iraq to assess the market, with the aim of exporting high-quality Saudi products directly rather than via third parties.
This will be facilitated by the opening of border crossings between the two countries, the Saudi minister said.
Companies that stand a good chance of entering the Iraqi market include the Saudi Basic Industry Corp. (SABIC), the Saudi Arabia Mining Co. (Maaden) and Saudi Aramco.
Al-Luaibi told Arab News that his visit to the Kingdom was successful.
He expressed delight at the projects he saw during his visits to SABIC, Aramco and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yabu.
He said he highly valued the chance to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who stressed the Kingdom’s keenness in Iraq’s security and welfare, and highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, industry and agriculture.
Al-Luaibi said anticipated bilateral investments may exceed tens of billions of dollars, adding that this is a strategic objective for Iraq.
He said his country’s oil policy matches the Kingdom’s in terms of reducing exports, adding that Iraq’s exports currently stand at 195,000 barrels per day.


US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

Updated 7 min 18 sec ago
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US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying US companies in “industrially significant” technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the US National Security Council and Commerce Department were also devising plans for “enhanced” export controls to keep such technologies from being shipped to China.
The newspaper said the plans were expected to be announced by the end of the week but were not finalized and that industry would have a chance to comment before they went into effect.
The initiatives, the newspaper said, are designed to hamper plans that Beijing outlined under its “Made in China 2025” strategy to become a global leader in 10 key sectors that include robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars.
Citing people familiar with the internal Trump administration debate, the newspaper said the United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions.
It said the administration would look only at new deals and would not try to unwind existing ones, adding that the planned investment bar would not distinguish between Chinese state-owned and private companies.
The White House on May 29 said the Trump administration would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, with details to be announced by June 30. It also said it would unveil a revised list of Chinese goods for tariffs, which it did on June 15.
The White House, Treasury Department and Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.