Spanish visit fruitful: Prince Salman

Updated 30 June 2012
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Spanish visit fruitful: Prince Salman

Defense Minister Prince Salman yesterday emphasized Saudi Arabia’s desire to strengthen its relations with Spain. He thanked the Spanish government for according a warm welcome to him and his delegation during his official visit to the country.
In a cable sent to his Spanish counterpart Pedro Morenes at the conclusion of his official visit, Prince Salman highlighted the deep-rooted relations between the two countries. Prince Salman began his private vacation yesterday.
Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency, Prince Salman said his visit to Spain was fruitful, adding that both countries would benefit from it. “I have conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to King Juan Carlos of Spain,” he said.
The defense minister said Saudi Arabia and Spain have identical views on all issues discussed during his meetings with King Carlos, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Defense Minister Morenes and Foreign Minister José Manuel.
“What makes our ties with Spain important is the close relationship between the two leaderships and peoples and we desire to strengthen these relations in all fields, especially defense, through visits and meetings of officials,” the minister said.
He said he was happy to visit Spain and wished greater progress and prosperity for Spanish people.
Earlier, he was seen off at the airport in Madrid by Prince Mansour bin Khaled, Saudi ambassador to Spain, Prince Faisal bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Research & Marketing Group, and Brig. Abdullah Al-Shammari, military attaché.
Prince Salman was accompanied by Prince Muhammad bin Salman, special adviser, as well as Prince Turki bin Salman, Prince Khaled bin Salman, Prince Naif bin Salman and Prince Bandar bin Salman.
Prince Salman arrived here Wednesday at the head of a high-level delegation. Morenes welcomed Prince Salman and his accompanying delegation and wished them a happy stay in Spain. "The visit of Prince Salman reflects the strong relations between Saudi Arabia and Spain," the Spanish minister said.

 


‘Saudi Arabia moving fast toward achieving its Vision 2030 goals’

Dr. Ayedh bin Hadi Al-Otaibi, deputy governor of investment climate.
Updated 11 min 34 sec ago
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‘Saudi Arabia moving fast toward achieving its Vision 2030 goals’

  • The SAGIA adopts strategies that are in accordance with Vision 2030 to support an investor’s journey within the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi economy is standing strong and it is supported by a competitive environment, said a senior official of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Dr. Ayedh bin Hadi Al-Otaibi, deputy governor of investment climate, was speaking at the Sixth Saudi Trade Finance Summit, which began on Wednesday in Riyadh.
Al-Otaibi delivered a speech on “Unlocking the potential of the Arab world’s largest economy” in which he reviewed the objectives and role of SAGIA with a particular reference to Vision 2030.
The SAGIA official also highlighted the recently introduced reforms in the investment environment to support the business sector in the Kingdom.
Al-Otaibi said Saudi Arabia is moving rapidly toward achieving its goals as envisaged in Vision 2030. The goals, he added, include an increase in foreign direct investment in the Kingdom, diversification of sources of income and leveraging its unique attributes as the heart of the Islamic world and the link between three continents.
The official said the Kingdom is taking all steps to make small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the main engine for economic development in the Kingdom.
Due to the recent measures and reforms the SMEs in the Kingdom are witnessing a spurt in growth and job creation, he added.
SMEs are considered a key partner in the development of Saudi Arabia.
One of the important actions in supporting these companies is the establishment of the General Authority for SMEs (Monshaat), which aims to increase the contribution of such businesses in the economy. Monshaat aspires to contribute to innovation, facilitate funding and create jobs for Saudi males and females.
The government has put in place stimulus packages of up to SR200 billion ($53 billion) until 2020 under the Fiscal Balance Program, one of the central initiatives for realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reforms.
The PIF, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has also supported the sector by setting up a SR4 billion fund ($1 billion) that will give SMEs access to capital. The “fund of funds,” as it is known, will invest in venture capital and private equity funds targeting the SME sector.
A privatization program also encourages the private sector to own or manage state-owned assets and to take over public services currently provided directly by the government.
SMEs are important to all economies around the world and will specifically play a major role in the non-oil-reliant Saudi economy. SMEs contribute to the economy by generating employment opportunities for the Saudi people and fostering economic empowerment for the youth and women. This will help in achieving the Vision 2030 goals of decreasing unemployment from 11.6 percent to 7 percent and increasing female participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent.
The SAGIA adopts strategies that are in accordance with Vision 2030 to support an investor’s journey within the Kingdom.
It also promotes a business environment based on customer service by measuring the satisfaction of investors with the services offered to them.