High-level Swiss delegation arrives in Riyadh for financial talks

Ueli Maurer
Updated 18 February 2018
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High-level Swiss delegation arrives in Riyadh for financial talks

RIYADH: Vice President and Finance Minister of Switzerland Ueli Maurer arrived in the Saudi capital on Saturday with a high-level delegation of Swiss bankers and diplomats to hold talks with senior Saudi officials, including financial regulators and bankers.
Maurer will also visit the UAE during his four-day trip to the Gulf region. Jorg Gasser, Switzerland’s state secretary for international financial matters, is accompanying him and the delegation includes representatives from around a dozen Swiss financial institutions active in Middle East markets.
“It is important to underline that Saudi Arabia is an important market for Swiss financial service providers outside Europe,” said Maurer in a statement here on Saturday.
“As a result, Swiss financial institutions have a strong presence in the Saudi markets; hence, my visit to Saudi Arabia aims to strengthen cooperation on financial-sector issues and open discussions with Saudi Arabia on facilitating and improving the conditions for providing cross-border financial services between our jurisdictions in particular,” he continued. “Furthermore, it contributes to pave the way for financial dialogues between the two states on bilateral and international issues.”
The Swiss vice president further said that Switzerland and Saudi Arabia have a long history of strong bilateral relations and substantial economic exchange. He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of Switzerland’s most important trading partners in the Middle East, citing the fact that Swiss exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to SR7.2 billion last year, while its imports from the Kingdom totaled SR2.3 billion.
During his stay in Riyadh, the Swiss finance minister will hold talks with his Saudi counterpart Mohammed Al-Jadaan, and will meet top officials from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the Capital Market Authority, and the Public Investment Fund.
The talks will take place “in the context of Switzerland’s financial market policy for a competitive financial center,” said Peter Minder, communications head of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance.


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 21 June 2018
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means they cannot qualify for the knockout stages.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.