Arab News editor highlights Saudi-UK ties

Faisal J. Abbas, Arab News Editor-in-Chief, discussed the changes and challenges facing both Saudi Arabia and the UK during a speech at the annual charity event BMG Foundation Polo Cup. (Ziad Alarfaj)
Updated 13 July 2018
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Arab News editor highlights Saudi-UK ties

  • ‘Trusted allies’ to work together in an era of change, Faisal J. Abbas tells Cambridge audience

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Both Saudi Arabia and the UK are going through times of “tremendous change” — but remain steadfast allies as wide-reaching reforms and the Brexit process continue.

That was the message of Faisal J. Abbas, Arab News Editor-in-Chief, in a speech at the BMG Foundation Polo Cup, held in partnership with this newspaper.  

Addressing a lunch held during the sporting event, held near Cambridge in England, Abbas talked through the changes and challenges facing both Saudi Arabia and the UK.

“As you know — both kingdoms are going through tremendous change… and, of course, with such change comes many challenges,” he said. 

“In Britain, a sudden and unexpected vote for Brexit two years ago meant that the whole country needed to buckle up for a transformation it had seen nothing like for almost seven decades. 

“In Saudi Arabia, we are also going through unprecedented changes — while staying true to our core values.

“The exciting and challenging times we are living in Saudi Arabia can only be turned into a success by utilizing the passion of our young population, while turning to the expertise and knowledge of most trusted allies worldwide can only accelerate and safeguard the process.”

Arab News also partnered with BMG to hold an investment conference at the London Stock Exchange Group on Wednesday.

Abbas said he agreed with Donald Brydon, chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group, who spoke at the earlier event about the UK being a “natural ally” to Saudi Arabia.

Abbas also reflected on the changes at Arab News, which relaunched in April.

“It is both an honor and a grave responsibility to label ourselves ‘the voice of a changing region’ as we take on a more global, more digital approach,” he 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.