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.


Saudi novelist receives Naguib Mahfouz medal

Updated 1 min 23 sec ago
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Saudi novelist receives Naguib Mahfouz medal

JEDDAH: Saudi novelist Umaima Al-Khamis has received the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature 2018 for her latest novel “Masra Al-Gharaniq fi Mudub Al-Aqiq” (Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Agate).
The American University in Cairo Press (AUC) made the announcement on Wednesday. The awards are announced annually on the birth anniversary of the Egyptian Nobel laureate. Al-Khamis, born in 1966 in Riyadh, studied Arabic literature at the King Saud University and was listed for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2010.
In her acceptance speech, Al-Khamis paid tribute to Naguib Mahfouz and described him as a great writer who taught the “magic and craft of” storytelling.