Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, says Alwaleed

Updated 02 July 2015

Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, says Alwaleed

RIYADH: “Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith,” says Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).
Prince Alwaleed made these remarks on Wednesday when he pledged his entire fortune to the tune of $32 billion to charitable projects.
While many of his philanthropic projects are already under way, the prince has confirmed the funds will be made available even after his death.
The prince said he will donate his fortune to his organization called Alwaleed Philanthropies to work in the fields of “intercultural understanding” and supporting communities in need.
Programs will include promoting health, eradicating disease, bringing electricity to remote villages, building orphanages and schools, as well as empowering women.
His pledge came during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims are encouraged to give charity and help the needy.
Prince Alwaleed has supported philanthropy for more than 35 years, donating $3.5 billion thus far through the Alwaleed Philanthropies.
Prince Alwaleed joins other billionaires who have made similar pledges in recent years, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg.
Prince Alwaleed has always had a good foresight, and the prince has routinely invested in promising companies such as Twitter.
At Wednesday’s press conference, he praised The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the US and shared that his intentions and visions were “modeled” on the philanthropic organization spearheaded by Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates.
“Since most of my wealth was achieved from this blessed country, I have made giving back to Saudi Arabia my number one priority, after which our philanthropic efforts will extend to countries around the world in accordance with the regulations governing charitable activities,” said the prince.
He said: “You may rightly wonder, why am I doing this? My response is that everyone goes through certain life-changing situations that have a great effect on his or her crucial future decisions. I have had the opportunity to witness, first hand, the challenging conditions of many communities across the globe, first hand, and have stood among those who were suffering and in great need. I have also learned of overwhelming obstacles through meetings with the leaders of countries and communities around the world.:
Prince Alwaleed said his foundations have been collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, NGOs, governments and non-profits for decades. Our work is far-reaching, providing humanitarian assistance to ease poverty and famine, supporting development, health and education, and encouraging long-term, sustainable change for the better.
He said: “Given the world’s current economic and social conditions, and the devastating effects of war and natural disasters around the world, more collaborative efforts are required from all capable individuals to unify their stand in the effort to alleviate poverty in the most deprived communities and to advance and build their societies.”
The prince said he was making the announcement as an illustration of God Almighty’s blessings, following His words in the Holy Qur’an: “But tell of the favors of your Lord,” (AlDhoha).
The prince added: “As I see it, the time has come for me to share all that I have to support communities through my foundation, Alwaleed Philanthropies, which aims to initiate and support projects worldwide regardless of religion, race or gender.”
He said: “For 35 years, Alwaleed Philanthropies have developed and sustained projects in more than 92 countries. We collaborate with a wide range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, to develop communities, provide disaster relief and to nurture cultural understanding through education. Together, we can build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant and accepting world. Ours is a belief in humanity without boundaries and a commitment toward all.”


Despite agreement, China purchase of US agriculture lags

Updated 10 August 2020

Despite agreement, China purchase of US agriculture lags

  • The two sides are set to meet on Saturday to discuss the deal, American media says

NEW YORK: Seven months after the United States and China signed a preliminary agreement to temper their trade war, Beijing’s purchases of US agricultural goods have yet to reach the deal’s target.

As President Donald Trump readies for a tough reelection battle in November, US media reported the two sides are set to meet beginning August 15 to discuss the deal, which calls for China to sharply increase buying American goods and services this year and next.

But according to data compiled by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), Chinese agricultural purchases at the end of June were far from where they should be at this point in the year.

They had reached only 39 percent of their semiannual target, according to US figures, or 48 percent, based on Chinese figures.

“If we get back to what the level of trade was in 2017, we’ll be lucky,” said Chad Bown, a PIIE senior fellow who authored the study, referring to the year before the trade war began.

Under the deal’s terms, China agreed to increase agricultural imports $32 billion over the next 2 years from 2017 levels.

Chinese orders for corn and soybeans have increased since mid-July, with Beijing buying just over 3 million tons of American oilseeds between July 14 and Aug. 7, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

At the end of July, the United States reported the largest-ever daily order by China for its corn, of 1.9 million tons.

The announcements were a relief to US farmers, who are expecting a bumper crop this year and need to find buyers to take it.

They also came at a time of high political tension between the two countries, after the Trump administration authorized sanctions against several Hong Kong leaders over the rights crackdown in the city, and restrictions on Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok.

The Chinese “realize we’re not being the best of buddies right now, but they need the products and they’re gonna take as much as they need,” said Jack Scoville, agricultural market analyst for Price Futures Group.

It’s possible that Beijing will change its orders from buying this year’s harvest to next year’s.

But analysts warn that any orders could be called off before the ships carrying them leave port.

Brazil and Argentina, two of the world’s largest soybean and corn producers, are starting their harvests next spring, said Brian Hoops, president of the brokerage firm Midwest Market Solutions.

China “could cancel all these purchases they made in July and buy at much cheaper prices if that’s available to them,” Hoops said.

The trade deal dubbed “phase one” and signed in January has managed to survive both the tensions and the sharp global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has badly hit international trade.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June said China would follow through on its commitments, while Washington would also pursue a “phase two” trade deal that “will focus on issues of overcapacity, subsidization, disciplines on China’s state-owned enterprises, and cyber theft.”

Bown said any success in getting China to buy not just farm but also energy and manufactured goods, would aid Trump in his reelection campaign.