KSA, Bangladesh explore rail, road route cooperation

Updated 27 February 2013
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KSA, Bangladesh explore rail, road route cooperation

Saudia Arabia considers its relationship with Bangladesh in political, economic and religious affairs very important, said Ahmed Al-Fehaid, deputy minister for international affairs in the Ministry of Labor.
Al-Fehaid addressed the concluding session of the Saudi-Bangladesh 10th Joint Commission in Riyadh yesterday.
The talks focused on economic and trade opportunities between the two countries.
Al-Fehaid also expressed the hope that the meeting would give opportunities to identify new areas of cooperation for mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
The meeting of the commission, which took place after a lapse of four years, was co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Economic Relations Abdul Kalam Azad and Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs in the Ministry of Labor.
The Bangladesh team comprised 15 senior government officials.
Azad, head of the Bangla delegation, acknowledged the support toward Bangladesh by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The two sides agreed that the 11th session of the Joint Commission would be held in Dhaka in 2014.
Bangladesh Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam told Arab News yesterday that the talks were mainly on areas of cooperation such as health, labor, education, trade and other matters of mutual interests.
Islam said the participants were divided into two technical committees to deal with security and social affairs, finance and investments.
“The meeting was aimed at securing tangible benefits for both parties in terms of their economies, trade, investment, education, culture, human resource development, health, agriculture, manpower cooperation and other areas,” Islam said.
Al-Fehaid said the two countries could forge ahead in bilateral relations through such discussions.
The visiting official said there are investment opportunities in various sectors in Bangladesh whose economy recorded an annual growth rate of over 6 percent in spite of multiple crisis and climate change issues.
“The government is determined to further increase growth and sustain it to make Bangladesh a middle-income country,” he said.
Efforts are underway, he said, to develop strong regional connectivity with roads, railways and waterways with a view to taking advantage of the unique strategic location of the country between south and Southeast Asia and proximity to China, with the potential to become the economic hub of the region.


KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

Updated 29 min 7 sec ago
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KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

  • The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
  • The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will be one of the most attractive countries for tourism because of its location, its unique tourist and historic elements and its hospitable and welcoming people, said Prince Sultan bin Salman.
Prince Sultan, who is president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told the annual conference of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires that the efforts of the SCTH and its partners in localizing tourist jobs resulted in an increase in the number of direct jobs in the tourism sector from 936,000 in 2016 to 993,000 by the end of 2017. The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
He said the contributions of tourism to the national GDP amounted to 3.6 percent, up to 4.9 percent of the national non-oil output, and the revenues of the tourism sector reached SR97.5 billion ($26 billion). Direct jobs in the tourism sector exceeded 994,000, and the proportion of Saudi citizens currently employed in the sector is about 28 percent.
The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program, which takes care of the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.
The program includes the establishment of 18 museums in the Kingdom’s regions, the creation of 80 heritage sites and opening them to visitors throughout the Kingdom, the restoration and preparation of 18 villages and traditional towns to receive visitors, and hosting economic and local hospitality activities operated by local people, as well as opening 17 centers for artisans that serve as incubators for the development of their businesses, factories for their production, and outlets for sale.
Prince Sultan also noted that after the SCTH completed the registration of the first four sites on the World Heritage List (Madain Saleh, Al-Tarif district in Jeddah, historic Jeddah, rock inscriptions in Jubba and Shuweis in Hail), it has been working with its partners to complete the registration files of six additional sites. Also, 20 additional important Islamic sites are being rehabilitated and prepared in Makkah and Madinah.
The conference was attended by more than 1,200 prominent investors and key corporate officials in tourism.
The WTTC is the largest gathering of investors and private sector professionals working in tourism around the world.