Saudi Arabia backs Arab League stance to check Iranian interference

King Salman chairs the Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 22 November 2017
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Saudi Arabia backs Arab League stance to check Iranian interference

RIYADH: The Cabinet, chaired by King Salman, on Tuesday reaffirmed the statement issued by the emergency meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo and their condemnation of all terror acts committed by Iran and its continued interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries.
The Cabinet meeting, which was held at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, also stressed that Iran should refrain from supporting groups that fuel sectarian conflicts, notably in the Arab Gulf states, and to stop funding militias and armed parties in the Arab countries.
The Cabinet also stressed the Kingdom’s continued stance at the UN on the Palestinian issue.
The Cabinet said the Kingdom will vote in support of a decision to allow the Palestinian people to keep their permanent sovereignty in the occupied Palestinian lands, including Eastern Al-Quds; to support the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan to exploit their natural resources; and to support the Palestinian people to regain their usurped lands and reject Israeli policies, which do not respect international laws and norms.
On other international issues, the Cabinet reaffirmed the Kingdom’s position on the UN framework agreement on climate change in its 23rd session in Bonn in its commitment in taking necessary measures to address climate change to achieve the objectives of sustainable development in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
The Cabinet also strongly condemned the terror attack in Kabul, which resulted in many deaths and injuries, and expressed its support for the Afghan government and people against extremism and terrorism.
The Cabinet appreciated the remarkable progress in the performance of the state general budget for the third quarter of the fiscal year, which showed further improvement in revenues, efficiency in spending and a drop in the deficit, while keeping the required levels of services provided to citizens.
Later, the Cabinet approved a series of decisions:
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Saudi Ministry of Health and its counterpart in Jordan on health cooperation.
The Cabinet authorized the minister of environment, water and agriculture, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with the Sudanese side a draft MoU for cooperation in the area of water and irrigation.
The Cabinet approved a MoU signed between the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Industry for cooperation in the area of water desalination.
The Cabinet also approved the organizational structure of the Saudi Center of International Strategic Partnerships.


Saudi Arabia, UAE lead Arab world in global competitiveness

Majid Al-Qassabi, who chairs the executive committee of Tayseer, said the move to unify efforts of government agencies. (SPA)
Updated 5 min 47 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, UAE lead Arab world in global competitiveness

  • The UAE ranked 27th out of 140 countries, maintaining its position of last year, thanks to being first globally in macroeconomic stability conditions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE topped the Arab world in the global competitiveness index announced by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which uses a new methodology to fully capture the economic dynamics of 140 countries globally.
The Kingdom, according to the report, has advanced to 39th position on the WEF Global Competitiveness Report for 2018, up two places from its ranking last year.
“The ranking, the Kingdom’s best since 2012, came despite the changes in the assessment methods this year,” said a statement, citing Majid Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment, here on Sunday.
Al-Qassabi said: “The integrated work of more than 40 government agencies is one of the most important factors that led to an improvement of the Kingdom’s ranking in the 2018 report.”
Al-Qassabi, who also chairs the executive committee of Tayseer, said the move to unify efforts of government agencies “contributed in addressing the constraints and challenges, and supporting the private sector in the Kingdom.” Tayseer is an initiative that aims to secure and stimulate the investment environment for the private sector and provide the necessary guarantees for the preservation of rights.
The WEF report said Saudi Arabia achieved a full score of 100 percent in the macroeconomic stability index among other countries in the region. In terms of market size, the Kingdom ranked 17th with 76.3 points, thanks to its high gross domestic product. This year, the WEF increased the number of countries under coverage to 140, which affected the ranking of many countries including the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia also ranked third among Arab countries and 39th globally, supported by its conducive macroeconomic environment, a modern infrastructure, and a large market size. The UAE ranked 27th out of 140 countries, maintaining its position of last year, thanks to being first globally in macroeconomic stability conditions.
The report said that Oman ranked 47th globally, up 14 places from last year, and became fourth in competitiveness in the Arab world. The ranks of the other Arab countries globally are as follows: Bahrain (50), Kuwait (54), Jordan (73), Morocco (75), Lebanon (80), Tunisia (87), Egypt (94), and Yemen at the 139th spot.
The key finding of the report is that the changing nature of economic competitiveness in the world is becoming increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies and creating a new set of challenges for governments and businesses, which collectively run the risk of having a negative effect on future growth and productivity.
According to the report, the 10 most competitive economies are the US, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the UK, Sweden and Denmark.
The report further explains that the competitiveness performance in the Middle East and North Africa remains diverse, with the UAE leading the way in the region. This year’s edition of the Global Competitiveness Report marks an important milestone, as the report series has now been published for 40 years.
The 2018 report ranked 140 economies according to 12 pillars that were weighted equally. These pillars included institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.