60 Saudi firms participate in Baghdad trade fair

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, center, with Iraq’s Trade Minister Salman Al-Jumaili, second right, open the 44th Baghdad International Fair in Baghdad on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 22 October 2017
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60 Saudi firms participate in Baghdad trade fair

BAGHDAD: Under the title “We liberated our land and with your cooperation we will build it,” Iraqi Trade Minister, Salman Al-Jumaili, launched the 44th Baghdad International Fair running from 21-30 October with Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, attending. The opening ceremony was also attended by the governor of Baghdad, Hashem Mohammed Hatem, with the participation of 18 countries and 400 local and international companies.

Al-Jumaili welcomed guests participating in this important economic fair, which serves as a platform for strengthening friendship bonds between Iraq and other Arab, regional and international.
“The launch of the 44th Baghdad International Fair coincides with the complete liberation of many Iraqi areas, and this is a clear and true message that Iraq is ready to cooperate in the fields of investment and reconstruction and is capable of fighting and combating terrorism and strengthening its relationships through real and constructive partnerships,” he said.
Saudi minister, Al-Falih, expressed his delight to be present in his second country, Iraq, and said that Saudi participation was characterized by including more than 60 companies of different purposes in the largest section in the fair.
He also explained that there are strong, cultural, economic and historical bonds between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and said, “Today, the two countries share the same vision, which aims to build a promising future for their people through building national capacities, investing in resources and establishing business and industrial partnerships in order to build a strong, diversified economy.”
Al-Falih pointed out that the two countries share many factors, including a comprehensive economy, as well as true potential, such as human capital, a strategic geographical location, energy, water, mineral and agricultural resources, exceptional industrial capabilities and tourism potential.
“Investing in these sectors will allow for better cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
“A good example of the importance of a successful cooperation between the two countries is the stability and improvement the oil market has witnessed as a result of cooperation between OPEC countries,” Al-Falih added.
Saudi Exports Development Authority (SEDA) Secretary-General Saleh Al-Salami said that the participation of the authority in the Baghdad International Fair stems from its role in promoting Saudi products to reach international markets.
Al-Salami clarified that the Kingdom, through its participation, stresses the political and economic openness between the two countries; its concern to include its best companies in the Iraqi market in order to increase the exchange between the two countries; its determination to show the high quality of Saudi products and their competitiveness with international products; and the capacity of Saudi products to efficiently and effectively cover neighboring states.
This step also stresses the authority’s desire to “contribute in boosting the national economy by focusing on non-oil exports and diversifying the sources of income to achieve Vision 2030 and encourage national companies to participate in the exhibitions organized by the authority.”
Al-Salami said: “The choice of the Iraqi market is a result of many discussions held between the authority and a number of exporters to discuss and determine major challenges they have been facing, find solutions to overcome them, and find ways that facilitate the arrival of Saudi products on the Iraqi market.”

He added that the authority, through its participation, aims to discover new market opportunities for Saudi products in a promising market like the Iraq, and facilitate the export process to the country in cooperation with the relevant authorities.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.