Russian-Saudi Investment Forum concludes with positive signals

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, right, and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, speak at the Russian-Saudi Investment Forum in Moscow on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Russian-Saudi Investment Forum concludes with positive signals

MOSCOW: The Russian-Saudi Investment Forum concluded on Thursday in Moscow with announcements of joint business and investment projects.
With more than 200 Saudi and Russian business leaders and officials in attendance, the forum opened with a speech by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who called the event “historic” in light of King Salman’s first visit to Russia.
Bilateral relations “are getting to a fundamentally new level,” Novak said, adding that a joint committee had been formed “to help remove trade barriers that hinder enhancing joint ventures and projects.”
One of the most important agreements signed was on scientific and technological cooperation.
Novak announced the establishment of joint scientific and research centers, saying Russia and Saudi Arabia “have great potential in this field of bilateral development.”
There are also good prospects for cooperation in the fields of shipbuilding, the aluminum industry, water purification, food security, and oil and gas, he added.
It was announced that Russia and Saudi Arabia will establish a joint investment fund. “The $1 billion Russian-Saudi energy investment fund, which focuses on lucrative investment opportunities in Russian oil and gas production, is a good example of how we’re cooperating together and boosting our joint corporate alliances,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of the Russian Federation.
Majed Al-Qasabi, Saudi minister of commerce and investment, informed the audience that seven agreements were signed and four Russian firms will be given licenses to operate in the Kingdom.
“We’ve set up a plan to meet Vision 2030, including renewing energy and upgrading military industries,” he said.
Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), said: “We’re working on improving the level of FDI (foreign direct investment) to the Kingdom by attracting more investments. We’re working to give the private sector a bigger share in the market.”
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said bilateral cooperation in the last two years has benefited the oil market by stabilizing prices.
“It has breathed back life into OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), which found itself… unable to swing its production as supply was persistently high in 2014 and global inventories were steadily rising ahead of demand,” he added.
“The deal reached between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in November 2016 in Vienna notably helped to stabilize oil prices.”
During the forum, three Russian and three Saudi companies signed cooperation agreements on petrochemicals, trade and phosphates.
The plenary session was followed by panel discussions on bilateral investments, industry and localization, agriculture and food security.
Participants exchanged views on prospects for cooperation in these fields, and shared their experiences and future plans.


MWL chief, Morocco leader issue warning on extremism

MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa meets Morocco’s Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani. (SPA)
Updated 19 July 2018
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MWL chief, Morocco leader issue warning on extremism

  • Al-Issa and Moroccan Islamic leaders reviewed the Sharia and intellectual prospects of the discourse of Islamic moderatio
  • The MWL signed a research and data-sharing agreement with Morocco’s Mohammadian League of Scholars to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat extremism

JEDDAH: Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani and Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), discussed joint counter-extremist measures during a meeting on Wednesday.

During their discussions, the two men agreed on the importance of cooperating to support moderate discourse against extremist rhetoric.

Al-Issa also visited the Moroccan House of Representatives and met with its speaker, Habib El-Malki, to explore areas of cooperation.

The MWL chief met with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nasser Bourita in Rabat and discussed matters of mutual interest.

He also met with Minister of Justice Mohammed Aujjar and discussed topics related to the concepts and controls of freedoms and its association with intellectual discourse.

After that, Al-Issa and his delegation were invited to a luncheon hosted by the president of Morocco in celebration of their visit.

Al-Issa also met with Moroccan Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Al-Tawfiq, to explore areas of coordination and cooperation.

They also reviewed the Sharia and intellectual prospects of the discourse of Islamic moderation.

The minister then hosted a dinner to celebrate Al-Issa’s visit.

The secretary-general visited Dar El-Hadith El-Hassania Institute and met with its director, Ahmed El-Khamlichi.

He also visited the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Rabat to meet with its officials and learn about its programs.

Al-Issa held several meetings with a number of senior Moroccan scholars and intellectuals and discussed ways of cooperation, especially with regard to Muslim communities in foreign countries and the need to raise religious and intellectual awareness among them to reflect the values of Islam and protect them against radical, extremist, and terrorist ideas.

On Tuesday, the MWL signed a research and data-sharing agreement with Morocco’s Mohammadian League of Scholars to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat extremism.

Along with information sharing, the agreement includes joint scientific research and publishing initiatives, and invitations to take part in conferences, panel discussions, cultural programs, and joint training programs and workshops. 

A committee from both organizations will decide on an annual executive program to identify joint projects.

The agreement follows an international conference hosted by MWL with the Mohammadian League of Scholars under the theme “Deconstruction of Extremist Discourse.”