Saudi commerce minister upbeat on Saudi-Iraq trade boost

Commerce and Investment Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi
Updated 24 October 2017
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Saudi commerce minister upbeat on Saudi-Iraq trade boost

RIYADH: Commerce and Investment Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi said on Monday that Saudi-Iraqi relations are entering a new era with an ambitious program.
He said the leaders of the two countries are working to establish an ambitious phase of unlimited trade, economic and investment activities, especially with the launch of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, which is the cornerstone of the medium- and long-term businesses and planning programs.
The minister’s remarks follow the council’s maiden session that took place in Riyadh on Sunday in the presence of King Salman and Iraqi Premier Haider Al-Abadi during the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
He said that the bilateral meetings between the leaders of the two countries contributed to shaping trade relations in the next phase by opening all channels of cooperation to serve the interests of the two countries.
Al-Qassabi recalled that the bilateral trade volume between the Kingdom and Iraq reached SR23 billion ($6.13 billion) over the last 10 years (2006 to 2016. The trade balance was in favor of the Kingdom.
The volume of trade exchange during 2016 reached SR2.23 billion, which includes exports worth SR2.2 billion to Iraq and SR24 million in imports from Iraq to the Kingdom.
Crude oil and relevant products, fruit juices, fruits, vegetables and cheese topped the list of key Saudi goods exported to Iraq in 2016, while the list of imported goods from Iraq included aluminum sheets and transport containers.
Following a recent Cabinet decision, the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council was set up under the joint chairmanship of Al-Qassabi from the Saudi side, and Dr. Salman Al-Jumaili, minister of planning and acting minister of trade, from the Iraqi side.
It was geared toward illustrating Saudi Arabia’s desire to improve relations and to enhance the trade opportunities under joint cooperation.
In August, Al-Qassabi headed a high-level delegation of government officials and businessmen to Baghdad to develop and deepen strategic and economic relations between both sides, as well as to discuss and review promising investment opportunities.
Besides trade and investment opportunities, the two parties also concentrated on other sectors such as industry, agriculture, education, health and others.


Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

Updated 20 September 2018
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Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

  • Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week
  • The Grazia Middle East Style Awards will this year take place in Riyadh

RIYADH: Emerging Saudi fashion designers will get a chance to showcase their work alongside internationally renowned peers — including Yahya Couture, Yuliya Yanina and Lama Askari — during the second edition of Saudi Fashion Week, which runs from October 21 to 25, 2018.

The dates were revealed by the event’s founder, Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, who made a statement with her choice of outfit for the official announcement: a black abaya with a traditional Saudi hand embroidered, red design.

The princess, who is honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council in Saudi Arabia, said she always dreamed of being part of the fashion industry and is working hard to help the dreams ofothers come true as well, by supporting local designers,providing them with a platform on which to showcase their creativity, and supplying them with the tools they need to succeed.

“This fashion week is sponsored by the GCA and we want to highlight our Saudi culture,” she said when asked how the second edition will differ from the inaugural event in April 2018. “Every designer is unique and designs in a different way. Our culture is not only about wearing an abaya; it’s what makes you comfortable as a person.

“We have more local names coming out and a program to support emerging designers. This is a platform with which we support Saudi designers, in their country, which they represent.”

However, it also embraces the wider international fashion industry, as well.

“it’s an exchange of cultures. It’s a platform for Saudi and other countries,” said Princess Noura. “When we speak about fashion, it’s a mirror that reflects our culture and modernity.”

To help launch the careers of Saudis who are just starting out in the fashion industry, a “Top emerging Saudi designers” program has been developed, and the country’s fashion community has chosen six designers to participate, some of whom are recentcollege graduates. It will offer them support and give them real-world experience of the fashion industry.

Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week, with three runway shows each day, beginning at 8pm. In addition, a fashion festival featuring pop-up stores will run throughout the event. The Grazia Middle East Style Awards, which is usually held in Dubai, will this year take place in Riyadh on the final day of Saudi Fashion Week.

“I want every designer in Saudi Arabia to not be afraid and to come out and show what they are made of. Be Brave,” added Princess Noura.