‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

Updated 26 February 2015

‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

A senior government official has urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in the transport sector.
Abdulaziz Al-Ohaly, president of the Public Transport Authority (PTA), indicated that there are promising opportunities in the Saudi transport sector in the coming years.
He was speaking during the panel discussion on “At the crossroads, how Saudi Arabia can leverage its unique position and become a leader in global transport” at the GCF 2015, which ended in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The other panelists included Martin Powell, head of urban development, Siemens AG; Pierre Verzat, CEO of SYSTRA; Temel Kotil, president and CEO, Turkish Airlines; Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC); and Lord Peter Mandelson, British Labour Party politician and president of the International Think Tank Policy Network, who was the moderator.
Al-Ohaly called on investors to take advantage of the opportunities in projects that will come into force soon in construction and maintenance services, information technology, advertising and media consulting, support services and the supply of vehicles and equipment.
The PTA was established recently to ease the transport problems in all parts of the Kingdom, Al-Ohaly said, adding that the government bears the maintenance and the operations costs of the authority.
“The objectives of the PTA focus on the regulation and supervision of public transport and encourage investment in this area and capacity building,” Al-Ohaly said. He noted that public transport contributes to the development of cities and facilitates the movement and job creation, and reduces the adverse environmental impact of the traffic congestion and waste of time on the roads.
He said the Kingdom is in the process of introducing a new transport system, which includes Metro rail, and enhanced road, maritime and air networks.
He said the Kingdom has developed transport networks between the cities. To ease road travel, he said, the Kingdom has signed several agreements with the neighboring countries to formalize the Custom regulations. Such projects including the new rail projects would generate employment opportunities for youths of the country.
Martin Powell said: "The rapid growth of the Kingdom's population has necessitated new transport programs to facilitate movement of people from one end to the other to do their daily and business work.
Temel Kotil said there is a movement of 30 million passengers traveling annually in and out of the country and therefore the Kingdom needs more airports to ease air travel, which will save the time of the people.


IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

Updated 20 February 2020

IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

  • IMF team will provide broad technical advice
  • Lebanon has not requested IMF financial assistance

BEIRUT: A team of IMF experts met Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday at the start of a visit to provide Lebanon with advice on tackling a deepening financial and economic crisis, an official Lebanese source said.

The IMF has said the team will visit until Feb. 23 and provide broad technical advice. Lebanon has not requested financial assistance from the Fund.

The long-brewing economic crisis spiraled last year as capital flows into the country slowed and protests erupted against the ruling elite over decades of corruption and bad governance.

Diab’s government, which took office last month, must decide what to do about upcoming debt payments, notably a $1.2 billion dollar-denominated sovereign bond due on March 9.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun meanwhile said on Thursday measures would be taken to hold to account all those who contributed to Lebanon’s financial crisis through illegal actions be they transfers abroad, manipulation of Eurobonds or other acts.

“There is information that we are still in need of with regards to the banking situation. There are measures that we will take to hold to account all who participated in bringing the crisis to where it is,” Aoun said, according to his Twitter account.

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One of Lebanon’s most influential politicians, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, said on Wednesday that debt restructuring was the best solution for looming maturities.

Lebanon will on Friday review proposals from firms bidding to give it financial and legal advice on its options, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The government aims to take a quick decision on who to appoint, the source said.

So far, firms bidding to be Lebanon’s legal adviser are Dechert, Cleary Gottlieb, and White and Case, the source said.

Lebanon has issued requests for proposals to seven firms to provide it with financial advice.

The government on Wednesday formed a committee tasked with preparing an economic recovery plan that includes ministers, government officials, a central bank representative and economists, according to a copy of a decree seen by Reuters.