NEOM project draws interest at  Japan-Saudi conference in Tokyo

The Japan-Saudi Arabia Business Council meeting in Tokyo provided an excellent platform for investors from both countries to exchange ideas. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 24 October 2019

NEOM project draws interest at  Japan-Saudi conference in Tokyo

  • Kingdom’s medical devices manufacturer eyes advanced Japanese technology

TOKYO: Dozens of Saudi and Japanese businessmen met at the 18th Japan-Saudi Arabia Business Council in Tokyo on Thursday to discuss standing and new investment opportunities.

The conference, attended by representatives from the Japanese External Exchange Organization, Ministry of Trade and several top businesses, as well as the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, saw presentations promoting various sectors including real estate, medicine, entertainment, education and agriculture.

Projects like NEOM, the ambitious city project which Saudi Arabia is building in the Tabuk Province in the Kingdom’s northwest, grabbed a lot of attention.

The city, which the Kingdom will share with Egypt and Jordan near the Red Sea, will incorporate smart city technologies and function as a tourist destination.

“Saudi Arabia is a very important partner, both politically and economically, and we have to keep close contact with the Kingdom,” said Yasuhiro Sato, co-chairman of the Japanese side of the council. 

“Based on today’s meeting there are a lot of business opportunities that can be invested in.”

He revealed that Japanese business representatives “will soon be visiting Saudi Arabia” this November to further inspect projects.

The Kingdom’s Ambassador to Japan, Naif bin Marzouq Al-Fahadi, praised the excellent relations between the two nations, and built on Wednesday’s meeting between Saudi and Japanese ministers to highlight the increasing number of economic agreements signed between them.

“Today, we have many business opportunities because there is change in the economic infrastructure, and times have been changing as well,” Sato said.

“They (Japanese businesses) appreciate the efforts of Saudi business representatives in bringing leaders together to discuss how they can improve their businesses via mutual agreements,” Dr. Maha Al-Ateeki told Arab News on the sidelines of the conference.

Al-Ateeki, who is the first Saudi woman to invest in the manufacturing of medical devices in the Kingdom, said that she was looking at bringing Japanese technology back home.

“They have more advanced technology than us, and we are interested in taking it back to Saudi Arabia because, under Vision 2030, the Saudi leadership wants to localize technology,” she said, adding that she had set up a number of interviews while in Japan to help make this possible.

Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

Updated 10 July 2020

Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

  • There is significant damage to the reservoirs and infrastructure
  • A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker

TUNIS: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on all oil exports on Friday as a first tanker loaded at Es Sider after a half-year blockade by eastern forces, but said technical problems caused by the shutdown would keep output low.
“The increase in production will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17,” NOC said in a statement.
A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker, chartered by Vitol, which two sources at Es Sider port said had docked and started loading on Friday morning.
The blockade, which was imposed by forces in eastern Libya loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), has cost the country $6.5 billion in lost export revenue, NOC said.
“Our infrastructure has suffered lasting damage, and our focus now must be on maintenance and securing a budget for the work to be done,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
Control over Libya’s oil infrastructure, the richest prize for competing forces in the country, and access to revenues, has become an ever-more significant factor in the civil war.
The internationally recognized Government of National Accord, supported by Turkey, has recently pushed back the LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, from the environs of Tripoli and pushed toward Sirte, near the main oil terminals.