CSC, SABIC sign MoU to develop local content

CSC Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, right, and Deputy Chairman and CEO of SABIC Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, left, after the signing of the MoU in Riyadh on Wednesday. (AN Photo)
Updated 28 February 2018
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CSC, SABIC sign MoU to develop local content

RIYADH: The Saudi Council of Chambers (CSC) and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Riyadh on Wednesday to build a strategic partnership in local content development.
The accord was signed on the sidelines of the Armed Forces Exhibition for Diversity of Requirements and Capabilities (AFED) show currently being held in Riyadh.
The MoU is to acquaint the private sector with investment opportunities available through the SABIC Nusaned program and the CSC’s Local Content Promotion initiative.
The signatories were CSC Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi and Deputy Chairman and CEO of SABIC Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan.
Al-Rajhi said the MoU was part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy. “The cooperation between the Council of Saudi Chambers and SABIC is driven by the important strategic roles that both play in the national economy,” he said.
Al-Rajhi said that the CSC represented the umbrella of the business sector and worked to enhance its participation in Vision 2030 through a series of national and development initiatives, while SABIC had extensive manufacturing capabilities and was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of petrochemicals, fertilizers, metals and innovative plastics.
“It has programs to promote the participation of industrial local content and create opportunities for labor and workforce development,” he said, adding that the CSC and SABIC hoped that this strategic cooperation would bridge the experiences between them to raise the percentage of local content.
Under the MoU, the Saudi Council of Chambers is represented by the Local Content Enhancement Program, while SABIC will be represented by the Nusaned initiative to support investment in small and medium enterprises and develop local content. It is the first product of the local content and business development unit that was established by SABIC in early 2017.
The SABIC CEO said that this was the age of small and medium-sized enterprises and that the Nusaned program provided entrepreneurs with support to set up enterprises and create opportunities for young people.
The MoU aims to enhance joint cooperation between CSC and SABIC by increasing private-sector investment in industrial activity and enhance the value of the sector by organizing workshops, forums and related programs to increase local content.


India changes visa policies for Saudi nationals

Updated 8 min 9 sec ago
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India changes visa policies for Saudi nationals

  • India has granted the e-visa facility for more than 150 countries and territories, and the latest addition is Saudi Arabia
  • The country has also decided to scrap the biometric visa system for Saudis

JEDDAH: India’s diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia are working on making electronic visas available for Saudi nationals as soon as possible, following last week’s decision to add the Kingdom to the list of countries eligible for an e-visa.
India has also decided to scrap the biometric visa system for Saudis.
It is hoped that these two steps will increase the number of Saudi visitors, and India’s diplomatic missions are working on making the e-visa available as soon as possible.
“We are waiting on guidelines from the Indian Embassy in Riyadh,” a consulate official in Jeddah told Arab News.
The e-visa will allow Saudi travelers to get the permit online, without intermediaries or agents. India has granted the e-visa facility for more than 150 countries and territories, and the latest addition is Saudi Arabia.
“It is really a decision coming late,” P. Ram Mohan, a senior Bangalore-based journalist, told Arab News. “India has warm relations with Saudi Arabia and about three million Indian expats live there.”
The website for India’s Embassy in Riyadh lists the current requirements for a tourist visa for Saudis: A passport, a copy of the passport, two passport-sized photos, a completed application form, visa fee in cash, a copy of the Saudi ID card, proof of hotel accommodation in India, airline tickets, and a letter from employers or sponsors or a bank statement.
The e-visa slashes this to four steps: Apply online for a visa with valid documents, pay the fee online with a debit or credit card, receive e-visa by email, travel to India with a print out of the e-visa.
K. Surendran, tourism minister in India’s southern state of Kerala, welcomed the move to extend the e-visa to Saudi nationals and simplify travel document procedures for them as it would boost visitor numbers.
He said the state’s tourism department had been demanding the withdrawal of the biometric visa system because of its dramatic impact on tourist numbers.
“However the latest announcement will remove this major irritant,” the minister told Arab News.
The crown prince’s two-day trip yielded five memorandums of understanding in investment, tourism, housing, and information and broadcasting.
He also announced a $100 billion investment in India in areas including energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing.
A joint statement issued during the visit emphasized the importance of bilateral ties.
“India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting the centuries old economic and socio-cultural ties. Close geographical proximity, civilizational links, cultural affinity, natural synergies, and vibrant people to people contacts. Common challenges and opportunities have added momentum to this robust engagement,” it said.