Saudi Arabia, China seal 15 deals

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SUCCESSFUL VISIT: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli clap after Saudi delegation members signed several important memorandums of understanding with Chinese officials in Beijing on Tuesday. (SPA)
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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (center left) and China’s Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli (center right) witness the signing of memorandums of understanding between the two countries on Tuesday in Beijing. (SPA)
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Saudi and Chinese delegations led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (second left) and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (right) meet in Beijing on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 31 August 2016
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Saudi Arabia, China seal 15 deals

BEIJING: Saudi Arabia and China signed 15 preliminary agreements on Tuesday in sectors from energy to housing on a trip headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at bolstering relations with a top energy customer and trade partner.
The visit is part of a broad reform drive to cut the kingdom’s reliance on oil exports and showcase Saudi Arabia as a dynamic international nation with diverse promising opportunities for global investors.
Prince Mohammed met China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Tuesday, state news agency SPA reported.
“During the meeting, the strategic relationships and future opportunities to enhance the existing partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China were reviewed,” SPA said.
Fifteen memorandums of understanding (MoU) were later signed between the two nations in different fields including oil storage, water resources, cooperation on science and technology, and cultural cooperation, SPA said.
In April, Prince Mohammed launched radical economic reforms designed to develop non-oil industries in Saudi Arabia and attract billions of dollars of foreign investment. Chinese and Japanese banks and companies are expected to play major roles.
Prince Mohammed arrived in China on Monday on the second leg of a three-day Asia tour that started in Islamabad, Pakistan. He will then visit Japan from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
From Japan, the prince will return to China to chair Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the Sept. 4-5 summit of leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies in the eastern city of Hangzhou.
Prince Mohammed is expected to present to the G20 his economic reform plan, which envisages state spending of around 270 billion riyals ($72 billion) in the next five years on projects to diversify the economy.
Saudi officials will also discuss energy cooperation agreements with Japan, the Saudi cabinet said last week.
Under Prince Mohammed’s economic reforms, Riyadh plans to sell a stake of less than 5 percent in national oil giant Saudi Aramco that could be worth tens of billions of dollars, and Chinese and Japanese money could prove crucial in smoothing the sale.
(Additional input from agencies)
 
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Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Updated 20 min 24 sec ago
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Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Since June 2018, Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri has been the deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). He was previously the deputy governor for research and international affairs at the same agency, a position he held for two years from 2016.

Al-Shathri served as an economic adviser to the Ministry of Finance between 2000 and 2011, and in 2009, he joined the board of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

In 2011, Al-Shathri was appointed an adviser to the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. Later that year, he was appointed an alternate executive director of the IMF, before becoming an executive director — and an executive board member — in 2013.

Al-Shathri holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Saud University and a master’s degree in economics from King Saud University in Riyadh. He received his Ph.D. in public finance from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has written analytical columns for several Saudi publications on issues related to the US, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Earlier this month, Al-Shathri attended the inauguration ceremony for First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB’s) new Riyadh Branch, along with several other officials, including Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, governor of SAMA; Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of FAB’s board executive committee; Jassim Mohammed Al-Siddiqi, chairman of FAB’s board audit committee; and other members of the bank’s leadership team.

The opening of FAB’s Riyadh Branch is expected to further strengthen commercial ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.