Arab media must avoid fake news and stick to objectivity, says minister

The Arab ministers discussed a number of initiatives and ideas to revitalize the media industry, also agreeing to abide by a code of conduct and ethics. (SPA)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Arab media must avoid fake news and stick to objectivity, says minister

  • Concerted efforts urged to fight extremism and terrorism
  • Al-Shabanah stressed the role of Arab media in combating terrorism through educational programs that raised awareness about this phenomenon

JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s media minister met with information ministers from the Arab League on Wednesday, with fake news and Palestine among the issues discussed.
Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah welcomed the audience to Riyadh and greeted them on behalf of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wished them success in strengthening media efforts within the Arab League framework.
The session was organized in partnership with the Saudi Media Ministry as part of celebrating Riyadh being named the Arab Media Capital for 2018-2019.
Al-Shabanah kick-started the meeting by saying it was important to emphasize the Palestinian cause and the coordinated Arab media efforts needed to promote it.
Another topic was an amendment to the code of conduct for Arab media, including the avoidance of spreading rumors and fake news, committing to objectivity and professionalism and avoiding hate speech.
Al-Shabanah stressed the role of Arab media in combating terrorism through educational programs that raised awareness about this phenomenon.
The success of Arab efforts in tackling terrorism required constant coordination and a united front, aimed at fighting radical and misguided ideas, he said.
Secretary-General of the Arab League’s Social Affairs Sector Badr Al-Din Alali thanked the Kingdom for its hospitality and congratulated Al-Shabanah on his recent appointment as media minister.
Alali spoke about the last decade, which had witnessed tremendous regional and global changes that demanded a better performance and capacity from Arab media so that it could compete on the international stage.
He said the secretariat-general of the Arab League and Council of Arab Media Ministers were keen to develop and strengthen the work of the media.
This enthusiasm and support was reflected by the council’s decisions and discussions from recent years, such as its role in combating terrorism and achieving sustainable development goals, he said.
Last month the Kingdom’s then-Media Minister Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad and his Arab counterparts pledged to devise a joint Arab strategy to overcome the challenges facing the region.
They discussed a number of initiatives and ideas to revitalize the media industry, also agreeing to abide by a code of conduct and ethics.
The Council of Arab Media Ministers’ Executive Office includes the following members: Jordan, the UAE, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt.


Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

Updated 35 min 45 sec ago
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Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.