DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia and Latvia poised to take official ties to next level, envoy says

Latvian Ambassador Astra Kurme with officials of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (AN photo)
Updated 15 November 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia and Latvia poised to take official ties to next level, envoy says

  • Kurme: “The Kingdom and Latvia will hold political consultations following the ratification of their memorandum of understanding by the Shoura Council"

RIYADH: Latvia intends to develop its commercial and cultural relations with Saudi Arabia, with a particular focus on a number of cooperative areas including education, the economy, information technology, culture, food and food processing, Astra Kurme, Latvia’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday. The countries are also discussing plans to hold their maiden round of political talks in near future, she added.
“The Kingdom and Latvia will hold political consultations following the ratification of their memorandum of understanding by the Shoura Council,” said Kurme, who is the first envoy of a Baltic state in Saudi Arabia. “We are also talking about setting up a legal framework and endorsing agreements such as the avoidance of double taxation.”
The ambassador said that she discussed with Saudi officials possible areas of cooperation during several meetings last week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Princess Nourah University, King Saud University and at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“One of the potential projects can be establishing an Arabic language and culture center in Latvia,” she said, adding that there are also many opportunities to work together in the fields of information technology and cybersecurity.
Some Latvian companies already have a direct or indirect presence in the Gulf region, Kurme said. She also pointed out that Latvia has some of the fastest internet connections in the world, having taken major step to develop high-speed internet, and that there are plenty of commercial opportunities for both countries.
She noted that Air Baltic already flies to Abu Dhabi four times a week and that Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa also serve the Gulf-Latvia sector.
Latvia welcomed a large number of Saudi tourists this summer, said Kurme, adding that Latvia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence this year.


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.