Saudi Arabia, Spain mean business

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi, right, signs a cooperation agreement with Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Marisa Poncela Garcia in Riyadh.(SPA)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Saudi Arabia, Spain mean business

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Spain agreed to increase the volume of investment in key sectors at the second session of the Saudi-Spanish Joint Committee this week.
The committee was co-chaired by Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi and visiting Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Marisa Poncela Garcia.
Spanish Ambassador Alvaro Iranzo told Arab News on Thursday: “The joint committee held the second session in Riyadh and the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation and issues and common interests in accordance with the joint cooperation agreement that was signed by the two countries in Madrid on Feb. 22, 2007.”
He said that according to the agreement the joint committee meeting is to be held alternatively in Madrid and Riyadh. The first meeting was held in Madrid in 2014.
Iranzo said that the Spanish secretary of state for trade left Riyadh on Wednesday after a very “successful meeting” during which the two sides discussed bilateral trade relations and the promotion of trade and economic relations, as well as mutual investment opportunities in commerce, investment, economy, energy, industry, mining, science, technology, water, agriculture, finance, housing and tourism.
“Many aspects of bilateral relations were discussed with both sides keen to further enhance economic and technical cooperation in line with Vision 2030,” he said.
The two leaders stressed the importance of building cooperation in the private sector with exchange visits of business delegations, identifying export and investment opportunities, sharing expertise in the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and enriching the experience of entrepreneurs from the two countries.
“Companies from the Kingdom doing business in Spain and Spanish companies working in Saudi Arabia will be encouraged to help further enhance bilateral cooperation,” the envoy said.
Saudi companies SABIC and Alfanar had made a huge investment in Spain with big factories set up, he said. “We are exploring various ways in which both countries can assist each other in both public and private sectors,” he said.
Delegations reviewed the volume of trade exchange between the two countries and expressed a desire to further expand and diversify commercial business.
Iranzo said the volume of trade between the countries “stands at €5.5 billion ($6.8 billion),” and “we have scope to further increase the volume of trade.”
“Saudi Arabia is passing through an exciting time with Vision 2030, and Spain is willing to be a partner in development for a positive change and for national transformation,” he said.
“We have stocks of investment, we have good people-to-people contact and we wish to take it to new highs with our part in this transformation program.”


First Saudi woman presents main news bulletin on Saudia TV

Updated 3 min 30 sec ago
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First Saudi woman presents main news bulletin on Saudia TV

JEDDAH: Weam Al-Dakheel has become the first woman to anchor the main evening news bulletin on Saudi Arabia’s main national TV station.
Al-Dakheel presented the news alongside Omar Al-Nashwan on Thursday on Saudia TV channel.
Saudis took to Twitter to celebrate her achievement and the new milestone for Saudi women.
Writer Rayan Al-Jidani said: “Her performance was distinctive in terms of concentration, presence and clear articulation. I wish her more success in her career in media with the national channel @saudiatv.”
Television broadcaster Wael Rafeeq said: “Today, we are very pleased with this great development and quantum leap that the national television is undergoing.”
“It is beautiful to see our national channel in this honorable image. I hope this level of dedication at work is maintained, and developments continue being executed,” Twitter user @abukhaled2030 said.
@aliya_m1khan tweeted: “She is a champion. Such a strong and confident character, a great example.”
Women have presented the news on other Saudi channels like Al-Ekhbariya for several years.
Their increasing profile in Saudi Arabia’s media comes amid the sweeping social reforms brought in by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including the lifting of the ban on women drivers.