Prince Alwaleed and Korean PM discuss economic issues

Prince Alwaleed and Hwang Kyo-ahn, Korean prime minister, during the meeting.
Updated 26 May 2016

Prince Alwaleed and Korean PM discuss economic issues

RIYADH: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), visited Seoul and met with Hwang Kyo-ahn, Korean prime minister.
Sarmad Zok, member of KHC’s board of directors and chairman and CEO of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI), Hassna Alturki, executive manager for International Relations to the chairman, Mr. Hani Agha, head of travel and external affairs department, and Fahad bin Nafel, senior executive assistant to the chairman, attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the two discussed a number of social and economic issues, and the prime minister commended Prince Alwaleed for his economic and social support to the Republic of Korea.
Moreover, Prince Alwaleed had met with Park Geun-Hye, president of the Republic of Korea, during her last visit to Saudi Arabia.
In addition, Prince Alwaleed had signed an MoU with Hank Ahn, chairman and CEO of Korea Investment Corporation (KIC).
This strategic partnership aims at generating opportunities in private equity investments and the exchange of investment opportunities between both parties globally.
Furthermore, this partnership is the first of its kind between an investment holding company and a leading sovereign wealth fund.
Kingdom Holding Company’s investment in Korea in the financial sector via Citigroup and in the hotel sector via Four Seasons.
Prince Alwaleed also had investments in Korea in both Daewoo Corporation and Hyundai Motors.

Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 15 February 2019

Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”