KSA to set up first special economic zone in Riyadh

KSA to set up first special economic zone in Riyadh
A royal decree has been issued to approve the regulation of the “Integrated Logistics Bonded Zone (ILBZ)”. (Shutterstock)
Updated 22 October 2018

KSA to set up first special economic zone in Riyadh

KSA to set up first special economic zone in Riyadh
  • A royal decree has been issued to approve the regulation of the “Integrated Logistics Bonded Zone (ILBZ)”

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced the establishment of a special economic zone (SEZ) on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The zone, the first of its kind in the world, will be developed in Riyadh.
It will focus on integrated logistics and will enjoy special rules and regulations aiming at attracting more multinational companies to the Kingdom.
A royal decree has been issued to approve the regulation of the “Integrated Logistics Bonded Zone (ILBZ)” and has assigned its establishment and operation to the General Authority for Civil Aviation as the zone governing body. ILBZ is a major step in translating Vision 2030 into action by leveraging Saudi Arabia’s strategic location as the hub connecting three continents, one of three core pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 announced in 2016.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 30 min 15 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.