Saudi crown prince India visit ‘historic event,’ says ambassador

The first state visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India later this month will be a historic event, India’s ambassador to the Kingdom said Thursday. (Photo: Supplied)
Updated 14 February 2019

Saudi crown prince India visit ‘historic event,’ says ambassador

RIYADH: The first state visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India later this month will be a historic event, India’s ambassador to the Kingdom said Thursday.
Ahmed Javed told media the two countries would sign agreements across different sectors including energy, infrastructure, housing, tourism and information technology.
The deals would attract potential infrastructure investment and boost development in India, he said.
India and Saudi Arabia enjoyed cordial and friendly ties that were deeply rooted in a shared history and nurtured by vibrant personal exchanges, he said. These links had been strengthened over the years through trade and commercial ties, the ambassador added.
Last month Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah teamed up with Indian hotelier Oyo to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and improve hospitality in Makkah and Madinah.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has visited India three times, meeting Indian authorities to discuss energy sector investment, while Saudi Aramco has signed an agreement with an Indian consortium to jointly develop a $44 billion refinery in the western port town of Ratnagiri.
Accompanying the crown prince will be a high-level delegation, including ministers and leading Saudi businessmen, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Bilateral trade was $27.48 billion during the last financial year, making Saudi Arabia India’s fourth-largest largest trading partner, the MEA said in a statement issued earlier this week. It added that the Kingdom also supplies around 20 percent of India’s crude requirements.
Nearly 3 million Indians live in Saudi Arabia, making them the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia, it said. “Their positive and highly appreciated contribution to the development of their host country has been an important anchor of our excellent bilateral engagement. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 175,000 Indians every year.”
The crown prince arrives in Pakistan on Feb. 16 and will stay there for two days. He will be in India from Feb. 19 to 20.


Saudi passport directorate expands e-services through Absher

Saudi passport office said that the services will promote e-transactions and make it easier for people to get in touch with officials. (SPA)
Updated 01 April 2020

Saudi passport directorate expands e-services through Absher

  • Saudi Arabia’s information and communications technology sector makes up 4 percent of the Saudi gross domestic product

RIYADH: The Saudi General Directorate of Passports is offering a “messages and applications” service to people through the Absher online platform.
Beneficiaries can use the service by logging into their account on Absher, choosing the “My Services” option, general services, messages and applications, then clicking on the “General Directorate of Passports” link and selecting the required service from a list including “identification of residents, visas, transfer of information, transfer of information and change of profession, suggestions.” After writing their message, they simply click the “send” button.
The passport office said that the services will promote e-transactions and make it easier for people to get in touch with officials at the directorate to discuss their problems.
The Kingdom’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector makes up 4 percent of the Saudi gross domestic product.
The sector has experienced significant regulatory change, expressed across several public- and private-sector investment drives since the launch of Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia is also the region’s largest ICT market, ranking 13th globally, with a value of $28.7 billion (SR107 billion) in 2019 and strong growth in both the consumer and enterprise segments.