New areas of Saudi-Swiss cooperation identified

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Saudi and Swiss officials sign an accord during a meeting trade and investment in Jeddah on Tuesday. (Courtesy: MCI)
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Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi with Swiss Minister of Economic Affairs and Education Johann Schneider-Ammann during a meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday. (Courtesy: MCI)
Updated 18 July 2017

New areas of Saudi-Swiss cooperation identified

RIYADH: New areas of cooperation in trade were identified on Sunday during a meeting held in Jeddah between Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi and his Swiss counterpart, Johan Schneider-Ammann.
During the meeting, the Saudi-Swiss sides discussed opportunities between the Kingdom and Switzerland and explored means of developing trade and investment opportunities, especially in the field of non-oil exports, as well as removing any obstacles that may hinder such activities.
There are 113 Swiss companies in the Kingdom, 94 of which are service companies and 19 are industrial. The volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Switzerland reached SR10.33 billion ($2.75 billion) in 2016.
It was also decided to provide Saudi companies with the latest technologies and expertise to raise the quality of Saudi products and facilitate their entry into European and international markets.
The two sides also stressed the importance of the Saudi-Swiss Business Council’s role in the promotion of business and investment activities between the two countries, and its contribution to current development issues, especially in the fields of high-tech precision industries and the search for specific quality investment opportunities.

Oil up on slowing pace of coronavirus, Venezuela sanctions

Updated 47 min 41 sec ago

Oil up on slowing pace of coronavirus, Venezuela sanctions

  • Financial analysts say epidemic is likely to deal a ‘short-term blow’ to global economy

LONDON: Benchmark Brent oil prices rose for a seventh consecutive day after demand worries eased with a slowing of new coronavirus cases in China and supply was curtailed by a US move to cut more Venezuelan crude from the market.

Brent was up 71 cents at $58.46 a barrel at 1510 GMT. The global benchmark has risen nearly 10 percent since falling last week to its lowest this year. US oil was up 53 cents at $52.58 a barrel.

“Those in doubt of the economic impact from the virus should take heed from Apple’s surprise sales warning ... Put simply, this is the surest sign yet of the coronavirus fallout on the global economy,” said PVM analysts in a note.

S&P Global Ratings said it expected coronavirus would deliver a “short-term blow” to economic growth in China in the first quarter, echoing findings by the International Energy Agency.

Official data showed new cases in China fell for a second straight day, although the World Health Organization said there was not enough data to know if the epidemic was being contained.

The oil market price structure is also showing signs that prompt demand for oil is picking up, as the front-month Brent futures market is moving deeper into backwardation, when near-term prices are higher than later-dated prices.

This week, oil prices were also buoyed by a US decision to blacklist a trading subsidiary of Russia’s Rosneft, which President Donald Trump’s administration said provided a financial lifeline to Venezuela’s government.

Hopes that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers would deepen supply cuts also supported prices.

The grouping, known as OPEC+, has been withholding supply to support prices and meets next month to decide a response to the downturn in demand resulting from the coronavirus epidemic.

But in the US, which is not party to any supply cut agreements, oil production has been rising. US shale production is expected to rise to a record 9.2 million barrels a day next month, the Energy Information Administration said.