Japan’s Marubeni confirms new projects in Saudi Arabia

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Updated 13 January 2020

Japan’s Marubeni confirms new projects in Saudi Arabia

  • Company official reaffirms intention to implement several development projects in Saudi Arabia
  • The heavy-equipment manufacturer first established its office in Dammam about 60 years ago

RIYADH: Japanese company Marubeni Corp. has reaffirmed its intention to implement several development projects in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to Arab News, the company’s director of environmental infrastructure Tadashi Matsui said it will help revitalize national trade, industry and infrastructure development in the Kingdom.

Marubeni first established its office in Dammam around 60 years ago and has expanded to Jeddah and Riyadh.

The company began its business in the Kingdom in textile materials and has expanded into other commodity trades such as food, steel and petrochemicals.

Matsui said that Marubeni signed an important social contribution contract in the Kingdom in 2019 for independent water production with the Saudi Water Partnership Co.

Matsui said there were challenges when the company entered the Saudi market — which is culturally and commercially different to Japan — as communication requires more effort and some government measures take more time. 

He said that this is not the case anymore and he praised the successes achieved by Japanese companies working in the Kingdom.

Matsui praised the country’s promising investment opportunities as it realizes Vision 2030.
 


Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

Updated 28 May 2020

Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

  • The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament approved on Thursday a law to remove decades-old banking secrecy rules in order to better fight rampant corruption that has pushed the country to the edge of economic collapse.
The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers, legislators and civil servants, state-run National News Agency reported.
The restoration of stolen public money in the corruption-plagued nation has been a key demand of protesters who have been demonstrating since mid-October against Lebanon’s ruling elite, which they blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement.
The approval of the law came two months after the Cabinet approved a draft resolution to abolish the country’s banking secrecy laws, which have turned tiny Lebanon into the region’s Switzerland, attracting clients from around the Arab world who prized the anonymity its banks offered.
The new law gives powers to National Anti-corruption Commission and a Special Investigative Committee at the central bank to investigate bank account of officials, the report said.
For Thursday’s session, Lebanese lawmakers convened inside a Beirut theater so that they could observe social distancing measures imposed during the pandemic. Dozens of anti-government demonstrators briefly clashed with riot police outside as legislators met.
As lawmakers in face masks arrived at the theater, known as the UNESCO palace, paramedics sprayed them with disinfectant before they entered, one at a time.
Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment figures soaring and the local currency losing more than half of its value against the dollar.
After the banking secrecy measure was passed, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri suspended the session until later in the afternoon when the legislators were to discuss a draft general amnesty law.
The amnesty issue has deeply divided parliamentary blocs, with Christian groups calling for pardoning Lebanese who fled to Israel after it ended its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and others want the release of hundreds of Islamists held as terror suspects.
Lebanon and Israel are at a state of war and some Lebanese who fled to Israel now hold Israeli citizenship. Scores of protesters demonstrated in Beirut and southern Lebanon on Thursday against pardoning those living in Israel.