‘All eyes on the Kingdom’ as Saudi Arabia takes helm of G20

Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (R) shakes hands with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to mark the handover to Saudi Arabia as future hosts, at the end of the third plenary session of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Nagoya on Nov. 23, 2019. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 01 January 2020

‘All eyes on the Kingdom’ as Saudi Arabia takes helm of G20

  • KSA leads world’s most powerful group
  • The Kingdom takes over the role from Japan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday assumed the presidency of the G20, the world’s most economically powerful group of nations.

The Kingdom takes over the role from Japan, and will direct the G20’s work for the next year. As chairman, King Salman will host the group’s 2020 summit in Riyadh over two days next November.

The Saudi presidency will focus on three aims: Empowering people, by creating the conditions in which everyone — especially women and young people— can live, work and thrive; safeguarding the planet, by fostering collective efforts on food and water security, climate, energy, and the environment; and long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological advancement.

“The Saudi G20 presidency is committed to continuing the work from Osaka and promoting multilateral consensus,” said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Working with our G20 partners, we will strive to deliver concrete actions and realize opportunities to enable us to face the challenges of the future.

“In hosting the G20, the Kingdom will have an important role to play by sharing the perspective of the Middle East and North Africa region. We believe this will be a unique opportunity to shape consensus on international issues as we welcome the world to the Kingdom.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Saudi Arabia will guide work of the G20 under the theme “Realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all” and will focus on three aims:

• Empowering people

• Safeguarding the planet

• Shaping new frontiers

For the next year, “all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia,” political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“We know Saudi Arabia’s strength is both economic and diplomatic, and this will be the time to showcase it to the world,” he said.

Other countries realized that Saudi Arabia’s strength lay in oil, but it was charting a different course through Vision 2030 with a future focused on the non-oil economy, Al-Shehri said.

He pointed out the strategic significance of Saudi Arabia’s location, connecting three continents and linked to crucial maritime straits at Bab Al-Mandab, Hormuz and the Suez Canal. These shipping lanes were vital for international trade, Al-Shehri said, and Saudi Arabia protected them not just for itself and the region, but the whole world.

The G20 presidency was “a chance for the world to see the significance of our country and what it has to offer. It is a lively nation,” he said.


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.