Bolsonaro’s visit ‘a major step in bolstering KSA-Brazil relations’

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R) welcomes Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Riyadh on Oct. 30, 2019. (SPA)
Updated 02 November 2019

Bolsonaro’s visit ‘a major step in bolstering KSA-Brazil relations’

  • Bolsonaro and his delegation arrived in Riyadh on Monday night and was a guest of honor at the Future Investments Initiative (FII)

RIYADH: Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce President Rubens Hannun described Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Saudi Arabia as “extremely important,” claiming it was a major step in bolstering ties between the two nations.

In an interview with Arab News at the Saudi-Brazilian Business Forum, attended by Bolsonaro and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi, Hannun said: “The visit by the president to Saudi Arabia is extremely important because it includes the president. The leadership from two sides should talk to each other, so it’s really important from my point of view, what happened in these two days.” 

Bolsonaro arrived in Riyadh on Monday night with a delegation of ministers, parliamentarians and business people, and was a guest of honor at the Future Investments Initiative (FII).

Hannun said: “I know the importance of Saudi Arabia, this is my fourth visit in 2019, I am trying to collect more information, be closer to business and the government, and help with coordination.”

“I see Saudi Arabia today as more modern; it’s improving with more technology, and looking at the future with a fine strategic plan in Saudi Vision 2030 — a pioneer for the world. With all its diversity, it has opened a new channel and a new challenge for Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

“I can see every day that businessmen can sit, negotiate and establish strategic partnerships, which can start in Brazil and finish in Saudi Arabia or vice versa. Saudi Arabia can be a hub for the region, and a hub for Brazilian industry.”

He added that in order for further progress to be achieved, more cross-channel communiation was needed between Saudi and Brazilian public and private bodies.

The forum witnessed the signing of five agreements between Saudi and Brazilian parties to enhance joint cooperation, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

There were also MoUs between SAGIA and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the chamber of commerce and several industrial clusters, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Brazilian Development Bank, and the Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) and Arab News.

Commenting on the latter agreement, Hannun said: “I am very happy and honored to have this partnership, this will bring Saudi Arabia and Brazil closer.”



Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.