Saudi Arabia to boost mining sector to $64bn GDP contribution

Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said the Kingdom’s strategy includes 42 initiatives to structure the sector . (SPA)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia to boost mining sector to $64bn GDP contribution

  • Al-Falih said the Arab Mineral Resources Conference aims to encourage mining investments in the Arab world

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop its mining sector to increase its current GDP contribution from $17 billion to $64 billion.

Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said the Kingdom’s strategy includes 42 initiatives to structure the sector and raise its contribution to the economy.

Speaking at the International Arab Mineral Resources Conference in Cairo on Monday, Al-Falih said Saudi Arabia planned to create 160,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.

He said the strategy would also work on increasing the value added to minerals, and developing under-developed regions, so that the mining sector becomes the third pillar of the Saudi economy along with oil and petrochemicals.

“The Kingdom has the resources to achieve these goals, with what God had granted this territory with unique geological diversity and abundance of mineral resources,” Al-Falih said.

Most of these resources lie in the Arabian Shield region, in the western part of the Kingdom.

Al-Falih said the Arab Mineral Resources Conference aims to develop the mining sector and encourage mining investments in the Arab world.


Lebanon’s property market ‘on the brink of collapse’

Updated 10 December 2018
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Lebanon’s property market ‘on the brink of collapse’

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s once soaring property market is on the brink of collapse amid plunging prices and a construction standstill.
A boom that began in 2008 fueled by sales to Gulf state citizens and Lebanese expatriates was halted by war in Syria in 2011 and the oil-price slump in 2014, and has since gone into reverse.
Property prices outside Beirut have fallen by nearly 20 percent. In the capital, buyers are few and high-profile construction projects have ground to a halt.
“Some 3,600 unsold apartments exist today in Beirut alone,” says Guillaume Boudisseau of the property consultants Ramco.
Bank and property companies launched a $250 million scheme in October to buy more than 200 flats and sell them to Lebanese expatriates. But Jihad Hokayem, a property investment expert at the Lebanese American University, said such initiatives were temporary fixes.
“These measures only cover up existing or potential bankruptcies. It’s the beginning of a total collapse,” he said.
Economic expert Louis Hobeika told Arab News apartments in Beirut still commanded prices above $700,000, and what was happening was a correction.
“There is no demand,” he said. “Those who want to buy are going after real estate outside Lebanon, with incentives such as residency. The Lebanese are starting to buy in Cyprus, Portugal and Malta.”
Another economist, Essam Al-Jardi, said: “Developers invested billions of dollars in luxury buildings during the boom, but the economy has declined and growth is only 1 percent.
“I am afraid of any mistake that may push the country into the unknown.”