Women councilors get death threats over mixed meeting

Updated 27 January 2016
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Women councilors get death threats over mixed meeting

JEDDAH: Two women members of the Jeddah municipal council have received death threats on their phones because they insisted on sitting at the same table with men at a council meeting.
Lama Al-Suleiman and Rasha Hefzi had on Jan. 6 refused to sit behind an opaque glass partition and wanted to join the male councilors at a conference table. Some of the men had objected and they then sat at the back of the meeting room.
Council sources were quoted as saying that people making these threats are extremists and should not be tolerated. The women members have every right to attend meetings as equals with the men, they were quoted as saying by a local publication on Tuesday.
Ehab Al-Suleiman, a legal adviser, said the country’s security agencies have the ability to track down these individuals. They should be arrested and prosecuted for these threats.
He said there was no law barring women from sitting at the same table with men at council meetings. This was improper and unreasonable and a violation of their rights. Those men objecting to this should resign from their positions for violating the country’s royal decrees, he said.
Meanwhile, several women have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the right of women to participate in council meetings. They criticized other councilors for not voicing their opposition to what had happened to these two women.


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.