Saudi-Japan business council discusses cooperation

Members of the Saudi-Japan Business Council participate in a forum in Riyadh in this picture taken last January. (SPA file)
Updated 27 November 2018
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Saudi-Japan business council discusses cooperation

  • The value of trade between Saudi Arabia and Japan reached about $32 billion last year

JEDDAH: The 17th Saudi-Japanese Business Council Forum started on Monday in Tokyo, bringing together businessmen from both countries to discuss cooperation in health, technology and education, as well as investment between the private and public sector.

The first session of the event — which is organized by the Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East, the Council of Saudi Chambers, and the Saudi Embassy in Japan — was led by the co-chairs of the joint council, Tariq Al-Qahtani and Hiroshi Saito.

Saito said that the governments of the two nations have been working together to achieve the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and are cooperating in a number of fields including information technology and small businesses.

Al-Qahtani said that the Council of Saudi Chambers and the business sector in the Kingdom is working to achieve the mission of the joint council in terms of promoting trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries.

He added out that Saudi-Japanese relations have undergone important developments recently in a number of economic fields, the most important of which was the establishment of the business council. It has already significantly contributed to the development of bilateral economic relations by helping to enhance investment and trade between the two countries and guide them towards building a strategic relationship that focuses on the economy by diversifying and increasing trade, deepening communication and mutual cooperation channels, and intensifying joint investments in transfer technology and Japanese discoveries.

Al-Qahtani said that the value of trade between Saudi Arabia and Japan reached about $32 billion last year. He added that the role of the business council is to increase the Japanese activity in the Kingdom in the fields of education and technology training, and extend cooperation between the countries in the fields of small and medium enterprises.

He urged the Japanese to seize the investment opportunities available in Saudi Arabia, in particular projects in the agriculture, health, oil and gas, mining, power-generation and industrial sectors.

Mohammed bin Fuad Justaniah, the charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy in Japan, said that the embassy is making every effort to serve the common interests of the two countries and achieve the objectives of the forum, in a bid to strengthen economic relations.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.