Gulf nations ‘approve US request to deploy troops in the Gulf’

USS Abraham Lincoln. (Reuters)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Gulf nations ‘approve US request to deploy troops in the Gulf’

  • Media reports quote unnamed sources as saying the move is designed to deter aggression from Iran
  • Tensions have risen in the region following attacks on tankers in the Gulf and a Saudi oil pipeline

JEDDAH: The United States is planning to deploy military forces in the waters of the Arabian Gulf and in a number of Gulf Cooperation Council countries, according to media reports in the region last night.

The request from Washington was approved by a number of GCC nations, including Saudi Arabia, according to a report by Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, which quoted unnamed Arab diplomatic sources.

The main objective of the move is to allow Washington and Gulf nations to work together to deter any aggression or military threat from Iran against its neighbors or US interests in the region, the sources said. Tensions have escalated following attacks this week on a Saudi oil pipeline and a number of cargo ships in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE.

The sources reportedly said a number of Arab nations also plan to hold a summit on the sidelines of the Islamic summit scheduled to take place in Makkah during the last 10 days of Ramadan. They added that the countries involved “are united by principles and visions that are consistent with regional and international developments,” according to the report.
 


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • 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.