FaceOf: Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League

Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League

  • After graduating with a business degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Aboul Gheit joined the diplomatic corps in 1965, and rose through the ranks of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ahmed Aboul Gheit is an Egyptian diplomat and the eighth secretary-general of the Arab League. 

Before his July 2016 nomination as secretary-general, Aboul Gheit served as the minister of foreign affairs of Egypt from July 2004 to March 2011.

On Tuesday, Aboul Gheit met with the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, in the Chinese capital of Beijing for the eighth session of the ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. 

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of mutual interest between the two countries, in addition to the highlighted topics on the forum’s official agenda.

Born in Cairo in 1942, Aboul Gheit originally hailed from the city of Port Said. After graduating with a business degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Aboul Gheit joined the diplomatic corps in 1965, and rose through the ranks of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Aboul Gheit occupied diplomatic positions in Rome, Nicosia, Moscow, and New York. In 1978, he participated in negotiations for the Camp David Accords, which would lead to the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

Aboul Gheit was a political consultant at the Egyptian Embassy in the Soviet Union in 1984, as well as serving as the ambassador of Egypt to Italy, Macedonia and San Marino. 

In 1999, he was the head of Egypt’s permanent delegation to the UN, and in the same year was appointed permanent representative of Egypt to the UN, serving through 2004.

In December 2005, he played a vital role in mediating the Chad-Sudan conflict. In December 2010, Aboul Gheit opened the first Egyptian Consulate outside Baghdad and also held talks with former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. 


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.