New college to promote entrepreneurship

GOOD MOVE: The new college will be located inside the sprawling King Abdullah Economic City, near Jeddah.
Updated 28 June 2016
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New college to promote entrepreneurship

RABIGH: The MISK Charitable Foundation and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) concluded a cooperation deal with Babson College and Lockheed Martin to start the Prince Mohammad bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The deal, reached under the supervision of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was signed in Washington, D.C. by Badr Al-Asaker, secretary-general of the Mohammad bin Salman Foundation (MISK); Fahd Al-Rasheed, group CEO and MD of KAEC and vice president of the board of trustees of the college; and Kerry Healey, president of Babson College.
This college is the first outcome of the fruitful partnership between MISK and KAEC, and in line with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad’s vision for the development of education and knowledge for the youth of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rasheed, on behalf of the college’s staff and partners, thanked Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his unwavering confidence in and support of the qualitative education sector.
“We are proud to have launched this leading educational institution, which will play a key role in supporting and developing business sectors that encourage initiatives in education and other sectors that help young Saudis," said Al-Rasheed.
The partnership between MISK and KAEC is an important contributor to the development of the business sector, thanks to its role in supporting and recruiting major institutions that help young Saudis hone their professional skills,” he added.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship is the first to offer BA and postgraduate degrees in entrepreneurship in the Kingdom. Babson College, the leading entrepreneurship college in the United States, and Lockheed Martin, a leading business conglomerate, will present their vast expertise in higher education through an innovative applied education system.
“Our decision to work with MISK and KAEC on this great educational institution comes out of our desire to expand and offer a true model of entrepreneurship,” said Healey. “We felt that MISK’s vision and attention to education is in line with our own, and so is that of the economic city, which enjoys great vision, strategic location, a world-class infrastructure, and the ingredients of rapid growth — all of which made it the ideal place for us to realize our educational vision. The outcomes of the college will play a great role in pushing the Kingdom’s economy forward.”
The college will include the Kingdom’s first entrepreneurial research and development center, which will conduct administrative and strategic studies on business development, allowing students to interact with and contribute their ideas to both the public and private sectors.
“We are committed to supporting economic development in the Kingdom through an innovative program that guarantees sustainable revenues,” said Alan Shenouda, executive manager of Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia. “We are proud to be partners in implementing this incredible initiative.”


Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

Updated 18 February 2019
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Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

  • Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy
  • Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom

RIYADH: A major transformation is underway in Saudi Arabia’s economic relationship with Pakistan, according to Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri, a former ambassador to Islamabad.

In a wide-ranging interview with Arab News, the former envoy said greater interaction between business and the private sectors in both countries will take the historical bond “to a new level.” 

Asseri, who spent nine years in Islamabad and was the second-longest serving Saudi ambassador to the country, said: “We know that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always enjoyed an incomparable level of understanding and friendship based on religion, culture and values. There is a historical bond between the two countries. 

“I have no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking a cohesive approach to strengthen the relationship and take it to another level.” 

Asseri said that while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan cooperated closely on security matters, bilateral trade between the countries remained limited to about $4 billion. 

“We need to ... encourage the private sectors to interact more. We can help Pakistan’s industry and we need to become more involved in the trade sector. There are advanced industries and firms in Pakistan, and they have raw materials — it’s a good environment for investors.”

Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy. The Kingdom is also making billion-dollar direct investments in the country in line with the China-Pakistan economic corridor. 

“I am happy to see a major transformation underway in Saudi-Pakistani economic relationships with our leadership and government deciding to invest in the economic development of Pakistan,” he said. 

The former ambassador said frequent official visits between the two countries were important. 

“I came back recently from Pakistan, and the vibe of the media, government and people was so optimistic. Pakistanis were excited about the crown prince’s visit. People hope it will bring great opportunities for the economy as well as strengthening the political and social ties between the two countries,” he said.

Asseri said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had faced many challenges together in recent decades.

In 2001, during Asseri’s first year as Saudi ambassador in Pakistan, the 9/11 attacks on New York led to greater cooperation between Islamabad and Riyadh in dealing with terrorism.

The Kingdom had been closely involved with Pakistan since its independence, he said. “King Abdul Aziz sent King Saud and Prince Faisal to Pakistan at that time. So if we go back through history, we can see that this relationship is truly unique.” 

Asseri also highlighted the ties between the two countries on humanitarian issues, security and military issues, saying: “Pakistan has suffered serious security and humanitarian consequences of the decades-long war in Afghanistan, besides housing millions of Afghan refugees.

“Together Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have worked for peace in Afghanistan and will do whatever it takes to achieve this long-desired goal.”

Asseri said Pakistanis were quick to show their appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the past regardless of the change in Pakistani leadership over the years. 

“The relationship is unique because it is between people. Such a relationship (will) keep growing with every generation.

“When Pakistan was in a difficult position in 2005 after a devastating earthquake, Saudi Arabia went out of its way to provide the support it needed. Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz and eight ministers visited Balochistan. Field hospitals were created with Saudi doctors treating people and performing surgery there.” 

Pakistan also has a deep loyalty to Saudi Arabia, Asseri said. “Pakistan has military expertise, and through cooperation between the two countries, it helped the Saudi military during its development.” 

“The Kingdom’s recent appointment of a Saudi commercial attache in Pakistan will also bolster the economic links between the two countries,” he said. 

“There are good minds in Pakistan and good products that could be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.”

Asseri said he is also optimistic that Saudi plans to build a major oil refinery in Gwadar will help create an “economic hub.” 

The former envoy said the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan will add to the relationship between the countries. 

Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom. 

“Young Pakistanis who are advanced in the IT and industrial sectors are looking forward to helping and cooperating with Saudi Arabia, and sharing their experiences and knowledge,” he said.