Saudi building projects worth SR600bn to be showcased at contractors’ forum

This year’s event will see the participation of 35 government and private agencies which will highlight key sector projects planned for the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Updated 05 February 2020

Saudi building projects worth SR600bn to be showcased at contractors’ forum

  • Project owners showcased building programs in the pipeline

RIYADH: More than 850 Saudi construction projects worth in excess of SR600 billion ($160 billion) will be featured at a forum taking place later this month.

The Saudi Contractors Authority (SCA) will stage its second Future Projects Forum (FPF), the largest gathering for the building sector in the Kingdom, in Riyadh on Feb. 25 and 26.

This year’s event will see the participation of 35 government and private agencies which will highlight key sector projects planned for the Kingdom.

Most of the construction schemes have been initiated in line with the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

During a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday to announce the forum, project owners showcased building programs in the pipeline.

Through the FPF, the SCA aims to offer the chance for contractors, investors, suppliers, developers, banks, insurance companies, study and consulting centers, and other interested parties to be introduced to the most important future projects and investment opportunities planned for the Kingdom.

Project owners participating in the second forum will represent various strategic and vital sectors including oil, tourism, entertainment, transportation, housing, infrastructure, and mining.

The authority’s secretary-general, Thabit bin Mubarak Al-Suwaid, said: “This forum is a unique platform for project owners to showcase their projects and promote the principle of transparency and competitiveness. It provides an opportunity for sponsors to learn the trends of the coming period’s projects.

“In addition, the forum provides an opportunity for contractors and investors to discover future projects put forward by several agencies under one umbrella and in one place, enabling them to prepare their future plans.

“It is also an exceptional opportunity for building relationships, as it allows contractors and investors to meet project owners and learn about the requirements, registration methods, and the required qualifications. This helps improve their plans and decisions by identifying the time period for future projects, their estimated costs, the qualification mechanism and how to compete for it,” he added.

“The forum also creates a network of project owners, contractors, and interested parties, in addition to providing an opportunity to build partnerships between the contractors themselves.”

The SCA urged all contractors, investors, and individuals interested in attending the forum’s sessions to book their places at www.saudifpf.com.

Feedback from the first FPF, held in 2019, showed 91 percent of participants had been satisfied with the event. The number of government and private agencies taking part has increased from 23 to 35 this year, and the total value of projects is up from SR450 billion to more than SR600 billion. Around 2,000 delegates are expected to attend this year’s forum.
 


Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

Updated 21 September 2020

Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

  • ‘If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected’
  • Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments

PARIS: Bailouts provided to Air France-KLM by the French and Dutch governments will keep the airline flying less than a year, its CEO Benjamin Smith said Monday and evoked the possibility of injecting new capital.
In an interview with the French daily l’Opinion, Smith also warned that calls for airlines to contribute more to fight climate change could be catastrophic for their survival which is already under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When countries imposed lockdowns earlier this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus airlines faced steep drops in revenue that have claimed several carriers.
A number of countries stepped in with support, including France which provided $8.2 billion to Air France and the Netherlands which received a $2.9 billion package.
“This support will permit us to hold on less than 12 months,” said Smith.
The reason is that air traffic is picking up very slowly as many northern hemisphere countries are now fearing a second wave of infections.
“If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected,” according to Smith, who said when the bailout was put together the airline was expecting a return to 2019 levels only in 2024.
Smith said discussions were already underway with shareholders on shoring up the airline group, and steps would be taken before the next regular annual meeting in the second quarter of next year.
“One, three or five billion euros? It is too early to put a figure on a possible recapitalization,” he said.
The airline group had $12.12 billion in cash or available under credit lines.
Major shareholders include the French government with a 14.3 percent stake, the Dutch government at 14 percent, as well as Delta and China Eastern airlines which each hold an 8 percent stake.
Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments.
One proposal that has come from a citizen’s convention convoked by President Emmanuel Macron would cost airlines an estimated $3.6 billion.
Smith said the imposition of environmental charges on the industry would be “irresponsible and catastrophic” for Air France-KLM.