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.


Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

Updated 20 min 13 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

  • The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022
  • The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the signature of a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement for the design and construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes with the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia. The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022.
In line with the contract, Navantia and SAMI have agreed on the establishment of a JV in Saudi Arabia, which will provide an exceptional opportunity to consolidate the position of the integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions provided by Navantia in the Saudi market and area of influence, perfectly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by localizing 50% of the total military spending by 2030.
The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years, as follows: 1,100 direct jobs, more than 1,800 from the auxiliary industry, and more than 3,000 indirect jobs generated by other suppliers.
In this respect, the JV will focus on program management and combat system integration and installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, software development, testing and verification, prototyping, simulation, modelling, and through-life support.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, said: “SAMI remains committed to being a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030, and the establishment of this Joint Venture with Navantia will localize more than 60% of ship combat systems work including, installation, and integration, which contribute to the Kingdom’s objective to be at the forefront of shaping the local military industries ecosystem. We will continue to explore collaborations and leverage partnerships that meet our key mandate to localize more than half of the Kingdom’s total military spending.”
Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: “Navantia is very happy with the signature of this contract that means a starting point for the collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Navantia is committed to contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and will support the country in this endeavour. The JV between SAMI and Navantia is an opportunity to develop capabilities in the country and jointly explore future opportunities.”
For the Avante 2200 contract, the JV will be responsible, among others, of supplying the Combat System of all five ships. Corvettes 4th and 5th will be finalized and delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the JV will do the installation, integration and test of the complete Combat System.