32 ministers to attend Riyadh conference

Updated 02 November 2014
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32 ministers to attend Riyadh conference

A group of high-ranking Asian officials including 32 foreign ministers will attend a high-profile ministerial conference of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) here on Nov. 25.
The conference will be hosted by the ministry of foreign affairs in cooperation with the 32-nation ACD, a pan-Asian cooperation initiative that seeks to promote cooperation among ACD member states.
"Saudi Arabia's hosting the 13th ministerial meeting of the ACD comes as an expression of its commitment to achieve integration among ACD countries by expanding areas of cooperation, exchanging experiences, and building partnerships," said Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister, in a statement. He also emphasized "the importance of this Asian dialogue in strengthening communication bridges and raising the levels of cooperation."
A number of ACD member states have already confirmed their ministerial-level participations. "A ministerial delegation from Pakistan will attend the conference," said Khayyam Akbar, charge d'affairs at Pakistan embassy, here Saturday. "Thailand will be represented by its Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen. Tanasak Patimapragorn," confirmed Wijak Chittarat, Charge d’ Affaires.
Chittarat said that a 21-member delegation of senior Thai officials will arrive in Riyadh on Nov. 23 to attend the preparatory meetings.
Ministerial delegations from India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan besides many other ACD members are expected to attend the event, said diplomatic sources, while confirming their countries' participation in the conference.
Referring to the theme and the agenda of the ACD meeting, the statement said that the theme is 'Excellent Education Is Future's Way'.
Prince Saud expressed hope that Riyadh ACD meeting would focus its discussions on "the best means to invest in human potential by developing education, achieving sustainable development, providing job opportunities and other means to increase the economic diversity in ACD member countries."
Prince Saud, who chaired the coordination meeting of ACD foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York recently, said that the ACD aims to consolidate Asian strengths and fortify Asia's competitiveness by maximizing the diversity and rich resources in Asia.
The conference constitutes the missing link in Asian cooperation via attempts to incorporate every ACD country.
“The upcoming ministerial meet will mark the beginning of a new era in cooperation among the ACD countries," said Prof. Ateeq Hussain, a political analyst. "It will contribute in enhancing the aspirations of our nations,” he added.
The ACD currently includes 32 states from across all areas of Asia. It’s Middle Eastern members are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and the UAE.
The ACD is a major regional initiative that has the mandate to promote interdependence among Asian countries in all areas of cooperation by identifying Asia's common strengths and opportunities.
The ACD's programs and the policies also aim to help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for people. It also works to expand the trade and financial market within Asia.


Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

The Housing Ministry has deals with two real-estate companies. (Reuters/File)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

  • The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units
  • The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing has signed agreements with two real-estate development companies to add more than 11,000 homes in Jeddah for the Sakani program. The deals were signed on October 15 during an event announcing the program’s 10th batch of beneficiaries.
The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units, while the second, Jeddah airport housing, is on land owned by the Ministry and will includes 2,203 units.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Minister of Housing Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hugail, National Housing Company CEO Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Bati, and officials from the ministry and the Real Estate Development Fund. They follow previous agreements signed by the Ministry of Housing with a number of developers to build housing in various regions of the Kingdom. Sixty projects providing more than 90,000 diverse homes, with prices ranging from SR250,000 to SR750,000 have already been launched.
The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock and support supply in the sector, to encourage competition between companies to meet the needs of citizens in a way that suits local markets and ensures the provision of continued maintenance services for the residential units.
“The real-estate developers with whom we signed contribute along with the Ministry to the service of citizens in order to provide a suitable residential environment on the levels of prices and specifications, while presenting the beneficiaries with the guarantees needed,” the Ministry said.
“These projects will be completed and handed over to the beneficiaries within a period not exceeding three years. These housing projects are integrated in terms of services and public facilities. They include mosques, public parks and green areas as well as government buildings.”