Makkah governor lauds smooth flow of Hajis

HAPPY RETURN: Pilgrims walk down the Jamrat bridge after stoning on their first day in Mina. (AN photo by Adnan Mahdali)
Updated 13 September 2016
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Makkah governor lauds smooth flow of Hajis

RIYADH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has described the movement of pilgrims from Mina to Arafat during the current Haj season as unprecedented.

Speaking on Saudi TV Channel 1, Prince Khaled said the Kingdom is providing quality services to Haj and Umrah pilgrims, “which has stirred the envy of its enemies.”
He said the requirement that pilgrims wear electronic wristbands is part of a comprehensive plan for Makkah and holy sites during the Haj season, a plan that will see Makkah changed into a smart city.
Resorting to electronics to control the flow and movement of pilgrims is in line with the leadership’s directives and befitting a smart city, he said.
He called on those who performed Haj to give the chance to those who have not yet performed it, because Islam, he said, only ordered that Haj be performed only once in a lifetime for those who can afford it physically and financially.
The Makkah governor said the number of illegal pilgrims has dropped to 5 percent, compared to 9 percent and 70 percent in 1436 and 1435 pilgrimage seasons, respectively.
He attributed the drop in illegal pilgrims to the success of the regulatory plans and the penalties announced in case of violators.
He said fraud, deception and breaking systems contradict Islamic ethics, and citizens and foreign residents alike should behave accordingly.
“Those who do not respect themselves do not respect the system, so why should we respect them,” he asked referring to those who resort to fraud in an attempt to perform Haj.
Referring to the movement of pilgrims on Arafat Day, the ascension of all pilgrims to Mina and then to Mount Arafat, the Makkah governor termed it as unprecedented in terms of ease and flow of movement.
He has commended the great efforts exerted by those working to serve the pilgrims, and the role of Saudi youth in the service of Hajis.
Prince Khaled stressed that “all services provided by Saudi Arabia to pilgrims are part of our duty, especially as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is paying great attention to serving the pilgrims.”


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • 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.