Saudi Arabia buys high-tech China drones

ROBUST DEFENSE: Wing Loong drones will enhance Saudi forces’ capability to monitor borders.
Updated 01 September 2016
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Saudi Arabia buys high-tech China drones

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has signed a contract with China for the purchase of an unspecified number of pterodactyl planes, also known as Wing Loong or medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned drones, according to a report in Al-Watan newspaper.
The Chinese unmanned drones are modeled after MQ-1 Predator; they have surveillance capabilities and are able to carry two air-to-ground missiles.
According to the Global Times, the Kingdom is the first Arab country to obtain such types of drones, which were developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.
According to a press statement from the company last year, its drones are sold to four countries, including an unnamed country in Central Asia, while a series of negotiations are still going on with other potential clients.
The pterodactyl flies more than 4,000 km in 20 hours, and has a total payload capacity of up to 200 kg. It is equipped with laser-guided sensors.


Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

Updated 18 June 2019
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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.