Vision 2030: A ‘chance’ to boost Saudi, Indonesia cooperation

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Indonesian Consul General Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin with top officials at the reception held in Jeddah to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day. (Photo/Supplied)
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Indonesian Consul General Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 29 September 2019

Vision 2030: A ‘chance’ to boost Saudi, Indonesia cooperation

  • Saudi business groups and owners signed business contracts with their Indonesian counterparts worth $1.5 million

JEDDAH: Indonesian Consul General, Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin, said that the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plans could be an opportunity to develop his country’s “close cooperation” with Saudi Arabia and boost social, cultural and economic sectors between the two nations.
Speaking on a reception held on Tuesday in commemoration of the 74th anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day, Saripudin praised mutual cooperation between his country and the Kingdom.
The event, held at the Lazurde Ballroom, Park Hyatt Jeddah, featured Indonesian traditional shows and music performances.
Saripudin said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed Indonesia’s readiness to lend support to the Kingdom to achieve the goal of diversifying its economy.
“This was discussed during bilateral talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sideline of the last G20 Summit in Osaka.”
On the economic cooperation level, Saripudin said that their business community is delivering great efforts to promote trade and investment with Saudi Arabia.
“Some 398 Saudi business people joined the delegation of last year’s Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), making it the biggest business group. Of that number, 160 came from the western part of Saudi Arabia. The expo was able to attract more than 33,000 international and domestic visitors from 132 countries,” he said.

“Some 398 Saudi business people joined the delegation of last year’s Trade Expo Indonesia, making it the biggest business group. Of that number, 160 came from the western part of Saudi Arabia.”

Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin, Indonesian consul general

“Saudi business groups and owners signed business contracts with their Indonesian counterparts worth $1.5 million,” he added.
Saripudin said he expected business cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia would continue as “both countries have enjoyed mutual partnership in bilateral trade and therefore it should be developed further.”
He added that he hoped Indonesia and Saudi Arabia could continue working together to achieve another new record on trade transaction at the forthcoming edition of TEI, which will be held between Oct. 16 and 20.
“The positive trend in trade and economic cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has also been reflected in the increase in our trade volume. From January to June this year, our total trade in oil and gas increased by 0.85 percent — from $1.517 billion in 2018 to $1.529 billion,” Saripudin said.
He hailed the successful efforts during the last Hajj and thanked the Kingdom’s leadership for the “excellent” arrangements.  He said that Indonesia has sent more than 1 million Umrah pilgrims this year.


Saudi Arabia loses 120,000 hectares of trees every year

Awareness campaigns highlight the importance of trees. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 February 2020

Saudi Arabia loses 120,000 hectares of trees every year

  • The fine for cutting down a tree can reach SR5,000 ($1,333) while the fine for transporting logs is SR10,000

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia loses 120,000 hectares of trees every year through destruction and tree logging.
Trees help stop desertification because they are a stabilizer of soil. In the Arabian Peninsula, land threatened by desertification ranges from 70 to 90 percent. A national afforestation campaign was launched in Saudi Arabia last October, and there is a national plan set to run until this April.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said that although natural vegetation across the country had suffered in the past four decades, modern technologies such as satellites and drones could be used to track down individuals or businesses harming the Kingdom’s vegetation.
“Harsh penalties should be imposed on violators such as the seizure or confiscation of transport and hefty fines,” Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sugair, chairman of the Environmental Green Horizons Society, told Arab News.
These were long-term solutions and they needed coordination with authorities to ensure warehouses and markets did not stock logs or firewood, he said. Another solution was sourcing an alternative product from overseas that was of high quality and at a reasonable price. A third was to provide support to firewood and coal suppliers.
“The general public needs to be more aware of the importance of trees and should have a strong sense of responsibility toward these trees,” Al-Sugair added.
“They should also stop buying firewood in the market. We can also encourage investment in wood production through agricultural holdings as well as implement huge afforestation projects and irrigate them from treated sewage water.”
The fine for cutting down a tree can reach SR5,000 ($1,333) while the fine for transporting logs is SR10,000. These fines could not be implemented as they should be because there were no available staff to monitor and catch violators and, to make matters worse said Al-Sugair, there was a weak level of coordination between authorities.
Most of the Kingdom’s regions have suffered in some way from tree felling, and some places no longer have trees. These violations are rampant in the south and Madinah regions, as well as in Hail and Al-Nafud Desert.
Riyadh is the most active and the largest market for firewood. Many people in Al-Qassim use firewood as do restaurants in some parts of Saudi Arabia.
Omar Al-Nefaee, a microbiology professor at the Ministry of Education in Taif, said the reason behind the widescale destruction of the environment could be attributed to a supply shortage of imported firewood.
“Tree logging causes an environmental disequilibrium,” he told Arab News. “The Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Water has launched an initiative raising public awareness on the issue and is asking people not to use local firewood. Several awareness campaigns have been launched for the same purpose to educate people about the importance of using imported wood instead of the local wood in order to protect the Kingdom’s vegetation.”
Official reports warn that the Kingdom has lost 80 percent of its vegetation and that the drop will have a detrimental effect on its biodiversity, as well as causing great damage to the environment.
The general public should use other heating options during the winter and stop using firewood, Al-Nefaee said.
Some local studies have called for farms that can produce wood from plants that do not consume too much water and do not affect vegetation, while at the same time reducing the pressure on other regions in the Kingdom that are rich in animal resources.
Falih Aljuhani, who runs a business that imports wood from Georgia, encouraged Saudi firms to import wood from the Balkans because it was a competitive market and the trees had low carbon percentages.