Robots to roam $500 billion Saudi city

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
Updated 24 October 2017

Robots to roam $500 billion Saudi city

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans for a new city state that would also straddle Jordan and Egypt in the kingdom’s northwest with up to $500bn in investments.
Called Neom, the city will be powered by solar and wind energy, and is likely to have more robots than people living there.
The business zone, spanning 26,500 square kilometers, would be a showcase for modernity, Saudi ingenuity and new technologies, the Crown Prince told a panel discussion at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh.
 

The forum that has attracted business and financial leaders from around the world is being sponsored by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). He said: “We will build the city from scratch, it will be drone-friendly and a center for the development of robotics. We want to create something different. Neom is a place for dreamers who want to create something new in the world, something extraordinary.”
Klaus Kleinfeld, former head of aluminum giant Alcoa has been appointed CEO of NEOM. In response to a question, he told the panel’s audience: “Saudi Arabia hasn’t only been blessed with oil and gas, but with sun and wind as well. We can use technology to accelerate economic development.
The plans are part of the Crown Prince’s vision to overhaul the country’s economy and decrease its reliance on oil. The Neom project will focus on nine different investment sectors including energy, water, biotech and robotics.
Masayoshi Son, chairman of Japan’s Softbank, disclosed the bank would be making an investment in Saudi Electric as part of a push to develop green energy in the Kingdom. Son said robots could outnumber people in Neom.
Marc Raibert, CEO of Boston Dynamics told the conference: “Robots could perform a variety of functions – covering areas such as security, logistics, home deliveries and even looking after the elderly and infirm.


G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

Updated 22 September 2020

G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

RIYADH: The trade and investment ministers of the G20 nations met virtually on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation to support the recovery of international trade and investment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, said the collective G20 response to COVID-19 had started to deliver early signs of a “resilient, and stable economic recovery.”
“As policymakers, it is our duty to prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Saudi Arabia stands ready to endorse the G20 policy guidelines for MSMEs,” Falih said.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi told the meeting that measures adopted by the G20 in May were “critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic.”