DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi-Japanese ties hailed as Riyadh celebrates emperor’s birthday

Japanese Embassy in Riyadh hosted a reception to mark the upcoming birthday of Japanese Emperor Akhito. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 06 December 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi-Japanese ties hailed as Riyadh celebrates emperor’s birthday

  • “We have successfully introduced a new mechanism, the ‘Japan-Saudi Vision 2030,’ and now we are working closely in various fields of cooperation,” said Uemura

RIYADH: Japanese Ambassador Tsukasa Uemura paid tribute to the longstanding friendship between his country and Saudi Arabia as he hosted a reception to mark the upcoming birthday of Japanese Emperor Akihito, who will turn 85 on Dec. 23.
Guests at the event, at the ambassador’s residence in Riyadh’s diplomatic quarter last Thursday, included senior Saudi officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business representatives and members of the community. Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar represented the government of Saudi Arabia.
“The Japanese and the Saudi royal families have enjoyed long and splendid friendly relations for many decades,” Uemura said. “Crown Prince Naruhito, our next emperor, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time in 1994 with the Crown Princess.”
Since then, the envoy added, the prince has visited Saudi Arabia several times, and King Salman has visited Japan to bolster ties. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also paid an official visit to Japan in September 2016.
The ambassador said that bilateral relations between the countries, are shifting to become a diversified strategic partnership.
“We have successfully introduced a new mechanism, the ‘Japan-Saudi Vision 2030,’ and now we are working closely in various fields of cooperation,” said Uemura. “We are determined to build much more amicable and broader relations with Saudi Arabia as indispensable partners to each other.”
Japan was one of the first countries to announce support for Saudi Vision 2030, and has offered to share its expertise in a number of fields, including energy, potable water, infrastructure, metro and train projects, entertainment, sports and other development projects in the Kingdom.
This year will be the final official celebration of Emperor Akihito’s birthday, as he will abdicate on April 30, 2019, and Crown Prince Naruhito will take the throne.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”