‘Made in Saudi’ to create 1.3 million mining, industrial jobs for Saudis, minister says

‘Made in Saudi’ to create 1.3 million mining, industrial jobs for Saudis, minister says
Saudi Arabia aims to increase non-oil exports to 50% (SHUTTERSTOCK)
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Updated 01 April 2021

‘Made in Saudi’ to create 1.3 million mining, industrial jobs for Saudis, minister says

‘Made in Saudi’ to create 1.3 million mining, industrial jobs for Saudis, minister says
  • 'Made in Saudi' to help increase Kingdom's non-oil exports to 50%
  • 'Made in Saudi' was launched on March 28

RIYADH: The ‘Made in Saudi’ initiative aimed at supporting national products and services will create 1.3 million jobs in the mining and industrials sectors for the country’s citizens, said Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef on Wednesday.
The program, officially launched on March 28, aims to help increase the Kingdom's non-oil exports to 50 percent of the total from about 25 percent today, and raise the contribution of the private sector from 40 percent to 65 percent, Alkhorayef said during a government conference, Asharq reported.
‘Made in Saudi’ is focused on construction, textiles, pharmaceuticals and medical, processed and fresh produce and is open to any company with a valid license to operate in the Kingdom that grows, extracts or produces their wares in Saudi Arabia.
"We currently have 10,000 factories in the Kingdom, with investments of 1.1 trillion ($293 billion), and the Kingdom's products reach more than 178 countries around the world," Alkhorayef said.
A strategic plan to develop the consumer products industry through localization is in place, he said.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday launched Shareek, an SR12 trillion  program to boost the role of the private sector in diversifying the economy.
Under the program, private sector businesses will be helped to invest SR5 trillion between now and 2030, along with SR3 trillion from the country's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and SR4 trillion as part of a new national investment strategy.
The SR5 trillion that major companies pledged to spend within the Shareek program came based on a set of incentives, including the business environment, and some exemptions granted to each sector, said Alkhorayef.
Companies will spend more to expand and take advantage of opportunities instead of distributing all profits to shareholders, he said.


Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
Updated 31 min 38 sec ago

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
  • Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million)

DUBAI: Low interest rates may fuel the recovery of the UAE real estate sector, according to the boss of one of the country’s biggest brokers.
The country is well positioned for an “accelerated bounce back from 2020 as all the ingredients for growth come back in play starting in 2021,”
Al Ramz chairman Dhafer Sahmi Al-Ahbabi said in the company’s annual report published on Monday.
“The backdrop of low interest rates not seen since the 2011 lows, will fuel the private sector and real estate sector in the country to fuel the growth over the next few years,” he said.

The UAE stock market has already signaled this positive outlook with the UAE indexes already outperforming in the EMEA and EM region in 2021.”
It comes after a tough year for regional brokers hit hard by the sharp decline in corporate profits and trading activity.
Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million), resulting to a net loss of 10.9 million dirhams, compared to a profit of 4.1 million in 2019.
Al Ramz had to diversify its income sources to buffer the blow of COVID-19, Al-Ahbabi said.


Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
Updated 38 min 10 sec ago

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
  • The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles

DUBAI: Dubai’s transport authority has signed an agreement with Cruise, a General Motors unit, to operate its autonomous vehicles in the emirate by 2023.
The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles, the emirate’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum said on Twitter.
He said the goal was to convert 25 percent of the total transportation trips in Dubai into self-driving trips by 2030.
The fleet will reach 4,000 vehicles by 2030, the crown prince said, as Dubai aims to cut transportation costs by 900 million dirhams ($245 million) annually and reduce carbon emission by 12 percent per year by then.

 


Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January
Updated 12 April 2021

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January
  • Remittances a major source of forex for Egypt
  • Comes as tourism revenues plunge on pandemic

RIYADH: Remittances from Egyptians working abroad edged up by $116.8 million to $2.54 billion in January from a year earlier, Asharq Business reported, citing a Central Bank filing.
Remittances from Egyptian expats between July 2020 and the end of January 2021 recorded a 10.6 percent increase.
Millions of Egyptians working overseas send money back to support their families at home, including a large diaspora across the Gulf states.
Together with income from ships passing through the Suez Canal, remittances are among the most important sources of foreign currency for the country.
Such remittances have become even more significant over the past year because of the sharp decline in tourism revenues as a result of the pandemic.


Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn
Updated 12 April 2021

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn
  • The plan is “unreasonable, not in the consumer interest and should be rejected,” said Qatar Airways

RIYADH: London’s Heathrow airport faces opposition from some board members to its plan to raise £2.8 billion ($3.8 billion) from airlines and customers by increasing airport prices, the Telegraph reported.
The plan is “unreasonable, not in the consumer interest and should be rejected,” said Qatar Airways, whose owner, the Qatar Investment Authority, is also Heathrow’s second-biggest shareholder.
The airline’s top executive, Akbar Al-Baker, is a representative of the Gulf state on Heathrow’s board of directors.
Heathrow’s demands to change a complex regulatory framework so it could recoup losses caused by the pandemic, have been rejected by the Civil Aviation Authority, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for Heathrow said the regulatory adjustment is needed to lower prices for consumers.
Heathrow has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, since it relies on long-haul markets that have been suspended.
Passenger volumes have fallen to the lowest level since 1966 due to the ban on non-essential travel and quarantine rules.
Qatar Airways owns a 25 percent stake in IAG, whose British Airways is the largest operator at Heathrow.


Iraq crackdown on corruption helps to boost forex reserves to $60bn says PM

Iraq crackdown on corruption helps to boost forex reserves to $60bn says PM
Updated 12 April 2021

Iraq crackdown on corruption helps to boost forex reserves to $60bn says PM

Iraq crackdown on corruption helps to boost forex reserves to $60bn says PM
  • Last month Iraq approved a 2021 budget of 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($89.65 billion) as the country battles against the impact of low crude oil prices

RIYADH: Iraq’s foreign exchange reserves have risen to more than $60 billion helped by government reforms to stamp out corruption, said Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
He made the remarks during a ceremony to mark the start of construction on a new fuel sector project in Basra, Iraqi News Agency reported.
The increase came as a result of the reform measures taken by the government after much betting on its failure and lack of continuity,” he said. “We have succeeded in stopping waste and great corruption in the notorious Central Bank auction and are continuing with our measures and we will not stop.”
Last month Iraq approved a 2021 budget of 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($89.65 billion) as the country battles against the impact of low crude oil prices.
The budget deficit was estimated at 28.7 trillion Iraqi dinars.
Iraq relies on oil to fund 97 percent of its state budget.