KSA and South Africa look to technology, desalination collaboration

KSA and South Africa look to technology, desalination collaboration
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Updated 16 September 2021

KSA and South Africa look to technology, desalination collaboration

KSA and South Africa look to technology, desalination collaboration
  • Bilateral trade is still currently dominated by crude oil and its byproducts
  • Both countries share a desire for a diversified economy not dependent on the export of raw natural resources

South Africa has a long trading relationship with the Kingdom, and sees it as an important and strategic market in the Middle East for trade and co-operation in technology and water desalination, as well as for South African goods and services. 

Ahead of a Joint Business Hybrid In Person/Webinar to be hosted by the Federation of Saudi Chambers on Thursday, Arab News spoke to Imran Simmins, First Secretary Political at the South African Embassy in Riyadh, who said the bilateral trade is still currently dominated by crude oil and its byproducts.  

Business representatives in agriculture, food and entertainment, industry, healthcare, technology, tourism, defence, and mining sectors see plenty of potential for collaboration between both countries, and will use the event to explore bilateral growth opportunities together.

“Commodities from South Africa are mainly agricultural products and live animals. On the basis of Vision 2030 and the NDP 2030, with their focus on industrialization, we envisage a future dominated by trade in manufactured products,” Simmins said.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, both countries committed to use technology to improve their economies. He said the pandemic has forced technology to play a more central role in life in general, as well as how specifically economic activity is conducted. 

“This is one major field in which both countries will be collaborating in the future,” Simmins added.

Simmins added: “South Africa is becoming drier and drier with each drought spell being more serious and expansive than the previous one. The country is beginning to look beyond rainwater for its livelihood. Saudi’s seawater desalination expertise will definitely be crucial.”

Both countries share a desire for a diversified economy not dependent on the export of raw natural resources, a key part of both their developmental plans; the National Development Plan (NDP) in South Africa and Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia.

This has seen both nations commit to cleaner forms of energy despite being endowed with coal (South Africa) and the crude oil (from the Kingdom) that dominates trade relations. 

In 2018, King Salman announced a $10 billion investment in the South African economy. 

Aramco and the South African Ministry of Energy are currently exploring the possibility of building an oil refinery and a petrochemical plant in Richards Bay, on the country's north east coast. The refinery will serve the entire Southern African region. 

Trade in technology, goods, and services will need every assistance available from bilateral trade events before oil and natural resources cease to dominate trade between South Africa and the Kingdom.

 


China aims to cut fossil energy use to below 20% by 2060

China aims to cut fossil energy use to below 20% by 2060
Updated 5 sec ago

China aims to cut fossil energy use to below 20% by 2060

China aims to cut fossil energy use to below 20% by 2060

BEIJING: China is targeting an ambitious clean energy goal of reducing fossil fuel use to under 20 percent by 2060, according to an official plan published by state media on Sunday.

The document follows a pledge by President Xi Jinping to wean the country off coal, with a target of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality 30 years later.

But the country has been criticized for pushing ahead with opening dozens of new coal power plants.

Authorities have also been looking to ramp up production with coal prices surging and supplies running low in recent days, both factors behind power outages.

But on Sunday, China’s official Xinhua news agency laid out a host of targets in its path towards carbon neutrality.

Among them was the proportion of non-fossil fuel consumption reaching around 25 percent of total energy use by 2030 — when the nation targets peak emissions.

By then, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product would have dropped by more than 65 percent from 2005 levels, while the total installed capacity of wind and solar power is targeted to reach more than 1.2 billion kilowatts, Xinhua said.

The guidelines also reiterated an earlier aim for carbon emissions per unit of GDP to fall 18 percent in 2025, from 2020 standards.

China faces a struggle to wean itself off coal, which fuels nearly 60 percent of its energy-hungry economy.

Economic planners are nervous about slashing coal too quickly as it could cripple growth.

While China said in an earlier statement that President Xi intended to “strictly control” the growth of coal power plants, it also signaled a continued increase in the next few years, saying coal consumption would start to gradually reduce from 2026.


Saudi Arabian imports top Egyptian imports list

Saudi Arabian imports top Egyptian imports list
Updated 8 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Arabian imports top Egyptian imports list

Saudi Arabian imports top Egyptian imports list
  • Kuwait ranked second as an importer from Egypt, with a 349 percent increase in its imports, while UAE came third with an about 15.3 percent increase.
  • The value of exports to Saudi Arabia was approximately $ 205.9 million last June, followed by Egyptian exports to Libya, amounting to approximately $83.1 million in June. The value of exports to the rest of the Arab countries was approximately $456.4 mill

CAIRO: Egyptian imports from Saudi Arabia jumped by 131 percent in June 2021 to $602.5 million, compared to about $260 million in the same month of 2020, an increase of $342.5 million, recent official data revealed, according to Al Arabiya.

Egyptian imports from Arab countries jumped by 106 percent to around $1.203 billion last June, compared to about $ 583,8 million in June 2020, with an increase of about $ 619,6 million, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in Egypt. 

Kuwait ranked second as an importer from Egypt, with a 349 percent increase in its imports, while UAE came third with an about 15.3 percent increase.

Egyptian exports to Arab countries also recorded a significant increase, with a total of $1.066 billion value last June, while it was $862.3 million in June 2020, an increase of $ 204.1 million.

The value of exports to Saudi Arabia was approximately $ 205.9 million last June, followed by Egyptian exports to Libya, amounting to approximately $83.1 million in June. The value of exports to the rest of the Arab countries was approximately $456.4 million, with an increase of approximately $95.1 million.

The Statistical Authority indicated that the value of the trade balance deficit was $2.88 billion in July 2021, compared to $3.37 billion in the same month the previous year, a decrease of about 14.6 percent.


Bahrain aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060

Bahrain aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060
Updated 38 min 14 sec ago

Bahrain aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060

Bahrain aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060

MANAMA: Bahrain's Cabinet said the Gulf country aims to reach net zero carbon emissions in 2060, to help tackle climate change and protect the environment, the state news agency reported on Sunday. 

The decision comes on the heels of the launch of the Saudi Green Initiative in Riyadh on Saturday, which aims to reach net zero emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060.

Saudi Arabia said the transition to net zero carbon emissions “will be delivered in a manner that preserves the Kingdom’s leading role in enhancing the security and stability of global energy markets.”


Shift from landfills aids Saudi push toward circular economy: SIRC

Shift from landfills aids Saudi push toward circular economy: SIRC
Updated 53 min 29 sec ago

Shift from landfills aids Saudi push toward circular economy: SIRC

Shift from landfills aids Saudi push toward circular economy: SIRC
  • The chief executive officer of Saudi Investment Recycling Co., Ziad Al-Shiha, made the statement on the sidelines of the Green Saudi Initiative in Riyadh.
  • "Saudi Arabia will recycle 95 percent of its landfills during 2035, compared to about the current 5 percent — a complete shift that will have positive effects on the environment and the economy," SIRC CEO said.

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s goal to move away from landfills is in line with its larger mission to create a circular economy, which could create 77,000 new jobs and contribute SR120 billion ($40 billion) to the economy. 

The chief executive officer of Saudi Investment Recycling Co., Ziad Al-Shiha, made the statement on the sidelines of the Green Saudi Initiative in Riyadh. 

"Saudi Arabia will recycle 95 percent of its landfills during 2035, compared to about the current 5 percent — a complete shift that will have positive effects on the environment and the economy," SIRC CEO said.


Ministry moves to Saudize marketing, support management jobs

Ministry moves to Saudize marketing, support management jobs
Updated 24 October 2021

Ministry moves to Saudize marketing, support management jobs

Ministry moves to Saudize marketing, support management jobs

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development on Sunday issued a decision to Saudize marketing and support management jobs.

As per the decision, the localization rate has been fixed at 30 percent for establishments with a workforce of five or more in the marketing profession.

The decision will take effect on April 1, 2022 and it is expected to create more than 12,000 job openings for male and female citizens.

The ministry will also provide incentives to the private sector for implementing the decisions while violating firms will be held accountable.