Saudi Arabia and Spain launch joint venture to build five corvettes

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The venture will build five Avante 2200 corvettes and combat management systems for the vessels for the Saudi Ministry of Defense. (SPA)
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The venture will build five Avante 2200 corvettes and combat management systems for the vessels for the Saudi Ministry of Defense. (SPA)
Updated 07 November 2018

Saudi Arabia and Spain launch joint venture to build five corvettes

  • A signing ceremony was held in Riyadh on Tuesday attended by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI, and the chairman of Navantia, Gonzalo Alcazar

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Military Industries company (SAMI) and the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company have launched a joint venture to design and build five cutting edge corvettes.

SAMI and Navantia S.A. signed an agreement in April to create SAMI Navantia Naval Industries during a visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Spanish capital.

The venture will build five Avante 2200 corvettes and combat management systems for the vessels for the Saudi Ministry of Defense.

A signing ceremony was held in Riyadh on Tuesday attended by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI, and the chairman of Navantia, Gonzalo Alcazar.

The new project is expected to contribute to efforts by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries company to localize 50 percent of military spending in line with Vision 2030.

The manufacture of the marine combat systems will be carried out in the Kingdom along with system engineering and design, hardware and software development and testing.

 


Lebanon’s new finance minister to meet IMF official

Lebanon’s new Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni met with IMF Alternative Executive Director Sami Geadah in Beirut on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Lebanon’s new finance minister to meet IMF official

  • Beirut could be forced to increase VAT and cut welfare if aided by the IMF

BEIRUT: The new finance minister of debt-saddled Lebanon said he would meet with a senior official from the International Monetary Fund on Saturday for a “courtesy visit” and not bailout talks. Ghazi Wazni’s meeting with IMF Alternative Executive Director Sami Geadah comes as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
It follows a meeting on Friday between Wazni and a delegation from the World Bank led by its regional director Saroj Kumar Jha.
“It is a courtesy visit which aims to get to know the IMF team,” Wazni said.
“The discussions will not focus on an economic rescue plan, which is being prepared (separately) inside government,” he added.
Wazni assumed the post of finance minister on Tuesday with the formation of a long-awaited cabinet that faces huge economic and political challenges.
The previous government resigned on Oct. 29, two weeks into a protest movement demanding the removal of politicians deemed incompetent and corrupt.
Wazni comes into the post at a time when the plummeting Lebanon pound has lost over one-third of its value against the dollar in the parallel market.
Lebanese banks are tightening restrictions on dollar transactions amid a liquidity crunch.

BACKGROUND

Lebanon’s previous government resigned on Oct. 29, two weeks into a nationwide protest movement demanding the removal of politicians deemed incompetent and corrupt.

The economic downturn has raised questions over whether Lebanon will turn to the IMF for a bailout — an option the government has yet to comment on but which some officials regard as inevitable.
Last month, former prime minister Saad Hariri discussed a possible economic rescue plan with the heads of the IMF and the World Bank, further fueling speculation of a bailout.
If Lebanon does turn to the IMF it may have to increase its value-added tax, slash subsidies to the state-owned electricity company, tackle rampant corruption and enact a raft of structural reforms, according to previous IMF recommendations.