Attracting Chinese investments
At the recently concluded Saudi-Chinese business forum in Beijing, Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi said that the Kingdom’s plans to attract global investments in seven areas were not yet fully exploited.
He said that those include information technology, housing, real estate, transport, mining, military industries, and alternative energy. The Kingdom is most suitable for the Chinese business sector where it (the Kingdom) will allow it to expand in the Middle Eastern and African countries.
Meanwhile, presence of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih gave a new impetus to the forum, notably with the Chinese expressed interest in energy and oil, petrochemicals and refinery operations.
Despite the fact that the minister encouraged industrial investments, he focused on value-added industries to the national economy, which could exploit available resources and output of basic industries to reach intermediary and end products in all sectors, which is currently badly needed by the economy.
The minister also stressed on the importance of completing the supply and logistics chains and realization of the optimal investment for economic and industrial cities to act as incubators to such investments.
The allocation part of Jazan Industrial City (JIC) to be a base for Chinese industrial investments and re-export hub will constitute practical solution for the development of the city. Therefore, Jazan will be an optimal option for China to expand into Africa, for being the nearest port to African countries.
To attract more Chinese investments, the Saudi government is required to remove obstacles and provide appropriate funding for quality projects that are capable to localize industry, transfer technology and build humans.
— By Fadl bin Saad Aloainain
Saudis in Japan
Many people may not know that a sizeable number of young Saudis, who were on scholarship programs, graduated from Japanese universities and joined Japanese companies engaged in advanced industrial and technical sectors. But what reasons led the Japanese companies to employ the young Saudis?
There are many reasons for that, first their fluency in the Japanese language and understanding of the Japanese culture.
The second reason is that those students-turned-employees have acquired degrees in science and technology from Japanese universities. Thirdly, many of them have long-standing experience after having trained in Japanese companies.
I believe the most important factor helping Saudi scholarship students obtaining employment in foreign companies is the organization of field visits to factories and research centers and holding meetings with heads of companies and entrepreneurs.
However, one may ask a question: Does this mean a brain drain and a wastage of money spent on their education?
The answer is no, because the entry of our youths in these companies will give them knowledge and experience. On the other hand, the presence of qualified Saudi cadres in these companies will encourage Japanese firms to invest in the Kingdom, transfer technology and build factories.
The young Saudis could also reflect a positive image of their country through demonstrating outstanding performance. The majority of young Saudis return to the Kingdom after 3-5 years either to initiate their own businesses or run Japanese investments in the region. Saudi companies could employ some of them.
— By Isam Amanallah Bukhari
During the 1430 Haj season, Iran publicly, and through statements issued by its key leaders at the time, threatened to resume demonstrations during the rituals.
These statements aroused resentment among the scholars inside and outside Saudi Arabia who strongly condemned such provocative and childish statements. The statements developed into a direct threat against the Kingdom and its leadership with a view to politicizing Haj and change it into a place of demonstrations and riots.
Haj, however, is a matter of faith and nobody can disturb it. The last five years witnessed unstable relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the latter interfering in the internal affairs, which prompted the Saudis to severe all relations with it.
Later, Iran refused to sign Haj arrangements of the current season and, therefore, banned its citizens from performing the pilgrimage and began seeking new and indirect ways to foment riots and chaos.
Definitely, Iran found indirect ways to do that through using some Arab capitals (Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Sanaa) to implement its nefarious plans. Could it succeed? No, because the Saudi security men, at all levels, stand firmly and determinedly to deter those who try to create unrest.
Undoubtedly, Iran will not rest nor it will spare any efforts to destroy the region.
— By Hasan Malfi Al-Wadaani
In the western part of the Kingdom, authorities have taken all measures to ensure the security of pilgrims during Haj and made other arrangements to facilitate them in every possible manner.
This matter deserves due discussion for a country experiencing a tense military situation along one of its borders while in another area strict security commitment is in place to take care of 3 million pilgrims. If a country is encountering a military problem and, same time, a religious event, we will find it cancelling all commitments and events to deal with the military situation.
The situation never affected the Kingdom’s security and non-security preparations in organizing and facilitating Haj services for the guests of Allah. This demonstrates the Kingdom’s religious, political and security values toward this great ritual.
The Haj season gives an outstanding privilege to our country, a matter that makes all of us interact in serving those coming to perform the fifth pillar of Islam.
— By Abdulaziz Al-Yusuf
The city of tolerance
Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman has recently called on Muslim preachers all over the world to explain values of tolerance and coexistence advocated by our noble religion.
He said these high values were the focal point of our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) core mission, when he established the first Muslim state in Madinah.
That what exactly happened in Madinah when our Prophet brought together Aws and Khazraj, the two warring tribes for decades before Islam, and when he established bonds of brotherhood between immigrants (Muhajreen) and supporters (Ansar), despite differences in lineages and places.
Prince Faisal said since the emergence of Islam, Madinah has remained a true picture of Islamic teachings in terms of coexistence with others.
That also proved that Islam is a religion that accepts and respects others and tolerates differences between people, he said.
However, what is being practiced by some criminals in the form of violence, extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam is a criminal behavior that does not know mercy, he said.
The challenges, he said, also come in the form of extremism and malicious calls that lead the youth to adopt alien and abnormal behaviors incompatible with normal instinct. The call launched by the Madinah governor deserves due response from all preachers, writers and scholars across the world.
— By Mohammed Khidir Oraif
A war of necessity
The war in Yemen is a “war of necessity” because no nation can tolerate a militia loyal to foreign hostile powers.
In the middle of 1980s, a young Yemeni belonging to the Zaidi sect, enormously impressed by Khomeini went to Iran to embrace the Shiite sect. After absorbing the Iranian revolutionary ideas, the young man, Badruddeen Al-Houthi, established the “youth believers,” which developed into “Ansarollah” along the lines of “Hezbollah.”
Badruddeen Al-Houthi managed to expand the activities of the “youth believers” and finally recruited youths, tribes and social figures in Saadah. The serious thing here is that the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh extended semi-official support to the (Houthi) activity, which explains the current close relations between the two parties.
Saudi politicians were not unaware of those developments. They were closely monitoring the activities of the Houthis and the situation in Yemen.
Later, the organization developed into an armed militia and, accordingly, weapons poured into Yemen and thousands of young Yemenis left for Iran and Lebanon to receive military and regulatory training. The Houthi exposure to Saudis produced an armed clash in 2009 and though it did not last long but reflected a serious indication of the volume of weapons with Houthis with Iranian agenda in the southern parts of Saudi Arabia.
After two years of the clash, the Houthis exploited riots made by Muslim Brotherhood against Saleh’s regime and rushed to take power in collaboration with Saleh.
The Houthis also got hold of the advanced weapons from the armies of North and South Yemen. The Saudis were left with no choice but to take action to stop this group from spreading corruption in the land.
— By Mohammed Al-Sa’id