Canadian visa procedure for Saudis eased

Updated 19 October 2014

Canadian visa procedure for Saudis eased

Saudi Arabia and Canada have taken bilateral relations to new heights, with a common resolve to cooperate on key issues confronting the Middle East and to hold a joint economic commission meeting next year.
Canada has also introduced new measures to ease visa procedures for Saudi nationals.
The renewed move comes following wide-ranging talks held by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird with senior Saudi leaders, which focused on a host of bilateral, regional and security issues, particularly efforts to combat the so-called Islamic State (IS),” said Canadian Ambassador Tom MacDonald here Saturday.
During his stay in Jeddah on Wednesday and Thursday, Baird held constructive and wide-ranging discussions with Crown Prince Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.
Baird also met with Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif, and Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
During the visit, Baird toured the Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Counseling and Care Center, a center aimed at reforming extremists.
Referring to key regional issues, MacDonald said that the Assad regime has long been a state sponsor of terrorism and has financed and supported extremists throughout the region.
On the Middle East peace process, he said Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.
Asked about the new measures to ease and simplify visa process for Saudis, Ambassador MacDonald said that “Canada is issuing the vast majority of visas for Saudis now within 10 working days or less and three weeks for students."
“We have also introduced a number of changes to facilitate visitors’ travel to Canada,” he noted.
He said the Canadian mission has also introduced online applications.
In addition, Canada has opened three Visa Application Centers (VACs) in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.
MacDonald further explained that visitors to Canada benefit from the multiple entry visa, which allows Saudis to come and go from Canada for six months at a time for up to five years.

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

Updated 18 June 2019

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.