Saudi Arabia a ‘land of opportunities’ says commerce minister

Dr. Majed Al-Kasabi told delegates at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Saudi Arabia is a land of opportunity with a great chance of attracting investment. (Screenshot/FII)
Updated 01 November 2019

Saudi Arabia a ‘land of opportunities’ says commerce minister

  • Al-Kasabi pointed out that the Kingdom is rich in natural resources and ideally located
  • The commerce minister went on to cite various megaprojects that the Kingdom has undertaken

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is a land of opportunity with a great chance of attracting investment in new sectors of its economy, the minister of commerce and investment, Dr. Majed Al-Kasabi, told delegates at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on Thursday.

During the session “What’s next for Asia: Will a newly prosperous supercontinent overtake a waning West?” Al-Kasabi was part of a panel that included Ju Zhao, chief investment officer of China Merchants Bank and Raamdeo Agrawal, chairman & cofounder of India’s Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.

Al-Kasabi pointed out that the Kingdom is rich in natural resources and ideally located to act as a connector between Africa, Asia and Europe.

“As you know, Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the area. Saudi Arabia is a G20 member. It (was ranked as) a top reformer and a top improver in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report. (That is) a testimony to the promise that we have taken to improve business and fight bureaucracy,” he said.

He added that Saudi Arabia has “a unique mix” of competitive advantages: A robust business environment, and an increasingly young population, with 80 percent aged 45 or younger. But the “most important” advantage the Kingdom has, he said, is “our DNA.”

“Saudis are hospitable and generous to our visitors and investors,” Al-Kasabi said. “Saudi Arabia is a land of opportunities, especially when coupled with the unleashing of sectors like mining, health, tourism, entertainment, culture, and logistics. All of this makes Saudi Arabia a land of opportunities for the future.”

The commerce minister went on to cite various megaprojects that the Kingdom has undertaken as part of Saudi Vision 2030 and claimed that Saudi Arabia’s “rich blend of sun, sea and sand and archaeological sites,” make the country unique. All of which, he said, combined to provide an unprecedented opportunity for investors.

Both Zhao and Agrawal were keen to promote their own countries’ credentials for investors too. Zhao stressed how much China had developed in recent years, becoming “the main partner in energy and oil with Saudi Arabia” and diversifying its economy to rely on different sectors, rather than depending on a single source.

Echoing Al-Kasabi, Agrawal described India as “a land of opportunities” too. From its independence in 1947, he said, it took India 60 years to reach a trillion-dollar GDP. By 2025, the country hopes to be a five-trillion-dollar economy. “We want our economy to be the best in the world,” he said.

Al-Kasabi was bullish about the new Asian economic partnership, pointing out that 60 percent of the world’s population live in Asia, and that Asia is responsible for 40 percent of world GDP. “Amazingly, 64 percent of global cargo traffic comes from Asia, while 48 percent of global international students are from Asia,” he continued, adding that nearly 40 percent of global travelers were also from Asia.

Al-Kasabi went on to describe China’s economy as “iconic,” and paid tribute to Japan, Singapore, and India, which he called “matured and developed economies,” while referring to Vietnam and Bangladesh as “the newcomers.”

“Then there is the Middle East, where Saudi Arabia fits as a connector between Africa and Europe and Asia,” he said. “The Middle East and Saudi Arabia could be a global connector and a hub to Africa and Asia and Europe.”


Saudi bridge continues to aid stricken in Lebanon

KSRelief provided urgent food supplies to affected people living in the areas adjacent to the port, covering 500 families. (SPA)
Updated 2 min 39 sec ago

Saudi bridge continues to aid stricken in Lebanon

  • So far, 290 tons of aid transported to provide urgent humanitarian needs to people affected by explosion

JEDDAH: Aid continues to flow into the Lebanese capital Beirut, as the fourth Saudi air bridge plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) arrived on Sunday.
Ninety tons of emergency aid was flown in on the flight, including medical materials and equipment, foodstuff and shelter supplies. Medicines, burn treatments, medical solutions, masks, gloves, sterilizers and other surgical materials will be distributed by special teams on the ground.
The plane also carried food baskets that included flour and dates as well as shelter materials such as tents, blankets, mattresses, and utensils.

Opinion

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So far, 290 tons of aid has been transported from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon as per the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people affected by the explosion at the Port of Beirut.
This aid was provided based on an assessment report of the necessary humanitarian needs resulting from the explosion, in coordination with the Saudi Embassy in Beirut, and the KSRelief branch in Lebanon.
This comes as an extension of the efforts made by Saudi Arabia to show solidarity with the Lebanese people and to provide relief to those affected by the disaster.

FASTFACT

So far, 290 tons of aid has been transported from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon as per the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people affected by the explosion at the Port of Beirut.

KSRelief provided urgent food supplies to affected people living in the areas adjacent to the port on Sunday, covering 500 families.
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed bin Abdullah Bukhari told Arab News that special committees would oversee and review reports on the Lebanese people’s needs.
“Aid will continue to flow into Lebanon after assessing the required needs of the Lebanese people in cooperation with the relevant authorities in Lebanon,” he said.
Countries around the world have come together to help Lebanon in the wake of the explosion on Aug. 4, which devastated large areas of Beirut, damaging and destroying infrastructure, buildings and homes, including all port facilities and the country’s grain storage silos.