Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals

Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals
Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom. (Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2018

Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals

Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals
  • Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Indonesia will hold their first joint ministerial commission meeting in Jakarta later this week to discuss ways to boost bilateral links, and enhance collaboration on regional and global issues, particularly in the domains of economy, peace, and security. Adel Al-Jubeir will travel to Indonesia to co-chair the meeting from the Saudi side.
“Retno Marsudi, Indonesian foreign minister, will attend the meeting on behalf of Indonesia,” said Arrmanatha Nasir, a spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Saturday. This first ministerial meeting on Tuesday, which will focus on broadening relations in diverse sectors, comes after the visit of King Salman to Indonesia in March this year.
Arrmanatha said: “Indonesia will encourage wider market access to export tropical fruit products. This is important to discuss because Saudi Arabia is Indonesia's largest trading partner in the Middle East.”
“In addition, one of the main issues that will be raised is the protection of more than 600,000 Indonesian workers,” he said.
Riyadh and Jakarta have endorsed two major agreements this month.
As per the first agreement signed earlier this month, Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom. The cooperation deal, which covers a number of domestic professions, was signed by Ahmad bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi, minister of labor and social development, and Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri, Indonesian minister of manpower and transmigration, in Jakarta on Oct. 11.
This month, Indonesia also ratified a defense cooperation agreement that it had inked with Saudi Arabia earlier. Indonesia will also be the “guest of honor” country this year at the 33rd Janadriyah Festival, the Saudi celebration of heritage and culture, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh said on Tuesday. King Salman will patronize the opening ceremony of the festival on Dec. 31.
The Kingdom and Indonesia, the two OIC member nations, has had diplomatic ties since 1950. Indonesia seeks more engagement with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As such, Indonesia is currently proposing to have a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the GCC countries.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Trade Report, the volume of trade exchange between Indonesia and GCC last year amounted to $10.3 billion. GCC enjoyed a surplus of $3.3 billion mainly on account of its oil and gas exports.


‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns
A Saudi woman walks on a social distancing marker at a shopping center, as preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 3, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 min 35 sec ago

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns

‘We must cooperate’ to curb virus, avoid tough measures, Saudi Ministry of Interior warns
  • Makkah police arrest 13 people for violating isolation, quarantine instructions

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced on Sunday that authorities have detected a surge of “worrying” behaviors in the Kingdom since the beginning of Ramadan, warning citizens to avoid ignoring anti-coronavirus health measures.

At a joint press conference between the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, MoI spokesperson Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub warned that the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom could potentially lead to citywide lockdowns, as well as the banning of certain activities.
“We must cooperate and not trivialize the dangers. We do not want to have to resort to tough measures,” he said.
Al-Shalhoub added that the Kingdom was continuing to crack down on rule-breakers and those who violate safety precautions, including people using social media to spread misinformation about safety measures and ways to circumvent them.
Meanwhile, Makkah’s regional police spokesman said that 13 people were arrested in Jeddah and Taif for violating isolation and quarantine instructions after they tested positive for coronavirus.
Preliminary legal procedures were taken against them and their cases were referred to the Public Prosecution. The MoI previously warned that violators will face up to a two-year prison sentence, a fine of up to SR200,000 ($53,300), or both.
Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly revealed that the Kingdom has seen a slight rise in the percentage of women contracting coronavirus, warning that the number of women coming forward to be vaccinated was lower than expected.
“We have also seen a rise in the number of female cases that become critical and end up needing intensive care. Women also make up 55 percent of the overall number of cases in the Kingdom,” he said.
The MoH announced that 917 new coronavirus cases were reported on Saturday, raising the total number of cases to 404,970.
There are now 9,445 active cases, 1,044 of which are in critical care.

INNUMBERS

404,970 Total cases

388,702 Recoveries

6,823 Deaths

Of the new cases, 402 were in Riyadh, 203 in Makkah and 131 in the Eastern Province. Baha and Jouf reported the lowest cases on Saturday, with just six cases each.
Al-Aly said that appointments for second vaccine doses would be automatically updated, following news that some appointments had been canceled. The Saudi strategy aims to immunize the largest number of people possible with at least the first dose, Al-Aly added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that more than 15 million people have benefited from its Eatmarna app.
The ministry said that only people who have taken at least the first dose of the vaccine will be permitted to perform Umrah, or pray at either the Grand Mosque in Makkah or the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Violators will be prosecuted for attempting to perform the pilgrimage without the proper permissions, officials said, adding that authorities are encouraging safety precautions in order to ensure safe, smooth, and seamless pilgrimages for all visitors.
There were 907 new recoveries reported in the Kingdom, raising the total number of recoveries over the course of the pandemic to 388,702. The Kingdom’s death toll rose to 6,823 after 13 new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.
Almost 7.1 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Saudi Arabia so far.

The Kingdom is now delivering vaccines at a rate of about 1.32 per second, or 114,471 each day. About 20.3 percent of the Saudi population have now been vaccinated.

The last day saw the completion of 51,225 PCR tests, bringing the total number of tests conducted in the Kingdom to 16,174,957.

 


Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption authority initiates a number of criminal cases

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption authority initiates a number of criminal cases
Updated 51 min 43 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption authority initiates a number of criminal cases

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption authority initiates a number of criminal cases
  • The authority said crimes of financial and administrative corruption do not fall under the statute of limitations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-corruption Authority (Nazaha) said on Sunday it had initiated a number of criminal cases and legal procedures.
Among the most prominent cases, a retired major general and two retired employees from the Ministry of National Guard were arrested for obtaining SR198 million ($52.8 million) from local companies and one foreign company in return for helping them win contracts.
In the second case, the former director general of projects at the Ministry of Higher Education and five businessmen were accused of establishing companies and obtaining ministry projects through them, exaggerating prices, obligating other companies contracted with the ministry to deal with them, and obtaining funds. Work is underway to calculate the amount of money that was embezzled.
In the third case, an employee working for the Foreign Ministry was arrested for having disbursed approximately SR733,000, in an irregular manner, from an account of one of the Kingdom’s embassies.
In the fourth case, an employee of the Ministry of Information was arrested for issuing 328 media licenses and receiving around SR700,000.
Two employees at a regional branch of the Ministry of Finance were suspended after two citizens bribed them with SR126,000 out of a total amount of SR8 million agreed upon, in return for facilitating payment of financial compensation.
In the sixth case, three employees in the Education Department in one of the governorates were suspended for obtaining SR624,000 in cash installments from a businessman in exchange for facilitating access to seven projects amounting to SR3.2 million.
The seventh case was in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, where a notary was arrested in one of the regions for issuing a lost deed in an irregular manner to one of his relatives.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, an officer with the rank of captain working in a regional branch of the General Directorate for Narcotics Control was arrested for obtaining SR35,000 from an expatriate, in exchange for holding a case related to his brother.
A further case involved a bank employee in one of the Kingdom’s governorates who was suspended for obtaining SR21,000 from some of the bank’s clients in exchange for completing their financing procedures.
And the last case involved two employees working in a municipality who were arrested for receiving SR25,000.


Who's Who: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Thehaiban, managing director of Google Cloud for the META

Who's Who: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Thehaiban, managing director of Google Cloud for the META
Updated 52 sec ago

Who's Who: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Thehaiban, managing director of Google Cloud for the META

Who's Who: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Thehaiban, managing director of Google Cloud for the META

Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Thehaiban is the newly appointed managing director of Google Cloud for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region (META).

Al-Thehaiban, who received an executive master’s degree in international business in 2004 from the University of Edinburgh, has spent 25 years at Oracle, where he served as senior vice president of technology in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe regions.

Before joining Oracle in 1996 as Saudi Arabia’s sales manager, Al-Thehaiban owned a leading software solutions consultancy firm specializing in application development for Unix, Informix and Oracle. Within three years of joining Oracle, Al-Thehaiban helped grow the business, making Saudi Arabia a high revenue market for the company.

In September 2010, he was promoted to vice president for the MENA region. In 2016, he became a senior vice president for the Middle East, North-South Africa, Turkey and Central Asia.

Al-Thehaiban, a father of four and an innovation supporter, has played a key role in leading a number of capacity-building initiatives inside and outside Oracle. He also helped Oracle establish a computing center in Saudi Arabia. He has been an executive board member of the Young Arab Leaders and is a member of the Sawa’ed program, which was launched in 2008 by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Foundation to encourage creative projects that support development in the Arab world through technology.

For six successive years beginning in 2015, he was honored by Forbes Middle East magazine for being one of the top executives in the region.


Over SR300 million donated through Saudi Ihsan charitable campaign

Over SR300 million donated through Saudi Ihsan charitable campaign
Updated 19 April 2021

Over SR300 million donated through Saudi Ihsan charitable campaign

Over SR300 million donated through Saudi Ihsan charitable campaign
  • Donations from philanthropists inside the Kingdom accounted for 99%

RIYADH: More than SR300 million ($79.9 million) has been donated to the national platform for charitable giving “Ihsan” since Friday, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Since its inauguration at the end of March, the Ihsan platform has received more than 3 million visitors, and has contributed to serving more than half a million beneficiaries through more than 200 official partners involved in the charitable sector.
Donations from philanthropists inside the Kingdom accounted for 99 percent of the total donations.
Ihsan also provided opportunities to donate outside the Kingdom for projects submitted by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.
“Ihsan works to support opportunities for donations and charitable projects in all regions of the Kingdom, and in various fields of charitable and humanitarian work,” the statement said.
It includes donation opportunities for education, health, housing and other fields by making use of modern technologies, which contribute to quick and easy access and achieving the highest standards of transparency and reliability, it added.
The national platform for charitable giving said it is continuing to receive donations from philanthropists during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


Saudi Arabia co-chairs meeting on Chad debt under new G20 framework

Saudi Arabia co-chairs meeting on Chad debt under new G20 framework
Updated 19 April 2021

Saudi Arabia co-chairs meeting on Chad debt under new G20 framework

Saudi Arabia co-chairs meeting on Chad debt under new G20 framework
  • Chad is the first country to ask for debt overhaul under G20 common framework
  • It is expected to be a model for dealing with similar issues in the future

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has co-chaired the first creditor committee meeting to help Chad restructure its debts under a new G20 framework.
Chad requested the restructuring in January as it struggles with a high debt burden exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chad is the first country to request the restructuring under the new Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The framework was agreed in November by the G20 under Saudi Arabia’s presidency.
The meeting was also co-chaired by France and attended by the secretariat of the Paris Club and representatives from China, India, the IMF and the World Bank.
Saudi Arabia, which was represented by the finance ministry, affirmed its support for the successful implementation of the common framework and the important role of the IMF and international banks during this process.
The Kingdom said the meeting was important as it is the first test of the common framework for debt treatment, which is expected to be a model for dealing with similar issues in the future.