Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

An aerial view of one of the islands that comprise the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is shown in this file picture. Saudi Arabia has granted a new $160 million facility for projects in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2018
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Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

RIYADH: The ambassador of the crisis-hit Maldives thanked Saudi Arabia on Saturday for the grant of a new $160 million facility for projects in the Indian Ocean island republic.

“I thank King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi people for the new financing facility. King Salman has always pledged support for development in the Maldives,” Abdullah Hameed told Arab News.

The Maldivian envoy said that the amount is in addition to $100 million for airport development and the $80 million development of Hulhumale city, pledges made earlier by the Kingdom.

According to a communication from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the new financial facility is from the Kingdom and the UAE for the expansion of airports and fisheries.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the UAE are following up on the current events in the Republic of Maldives,” the SFD communication said.

It added that the two countries “express their concern about all the disturbing security and stability in the Maldives and note that these events are an internal matter.”

Hameed added that Saudi Arabia and the UAE expressed “hope for peaceful solutions through internal political dialogue between the parties concerned without external interference and within the framework of the Maldivian Constitution.”

This comes after an earlier government invitation to all political parties, calling for constructive dialogue about the country’s political situation.

Hameed said the state of emergency in the Maldives lasts for only 15 days under the island republic’s constitution unless the Maldivian parliament extends it. He added that the emergency ends on Wednesday.

“Under the constitution and in case of emergency, the president is vested with power to ensure stability to ensure the rule of law and uphold the constitution,” the ambassador said.


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.