Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM
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Updated 26 October 2021

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece is keen to work with Saudi Arabia to help deliver energy harvested by the Middle East country to Europe, the Greek Prime Minister has said

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the current energy situation in his continent has made him look towards the Gulf for more supply options.

Mitsotakis said Greece is “forming a very strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia”, as he talked up areas of mutual interest, such as hospitality.

However, it was energy provision that was top of his mind, with Misotakis confirming Greece would be shutting down all its coal plants by 2028 at the latest.

He said: “We've signed an agreement with Egypt, but l'm sure there's also going to be a lot of interest in terms of extending these types of agreements. 

“Also, with Saudi Arabia, if this area has the capacity to produce very cheap electricity from renewables, and I'm probably referring to the sun, wouldn't it be of mutual interest to bring this electricity into the European market?”

He went on to claim natural gas could be supplied to Europe via a pipeline that goes through Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

Mitsotakis argued that Greece and Saudi Arabia “live in the same broad neighborhood” and “share the same challenges”.

After his appearance on the forum's stage, he left with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

 


Sustainable fashion is not a trend, it’s a necessity, says e-commerce platform chief

Sustainable fashion is not a trend, it’s a necessity, says e-commerce platform chief
Updated 12 sec ago

Sustainable fashion is not a trend, it’s a necessity, says e-commerce platform chief

Sustainable fashion is not a trend, it’s a necessity, says e-commerce platform chief
  • E-commerce platform with environment at heart of its strategies

DUBAI: For many, sustainable fashion is an interest or trend. For the founders of global sustainable e-commerce platform Plain Tiger, it’s a necessity.
In the middle of the night, Oliver Baillie woke up in his new home in South Africa to find strange men in his house. He began thrashing, worried it was a robbery until his wife, Alexandra Baillie, explained it was the paramedics. He had had a seizure and needed to be taken to hospital immediately.
The prognosis wasn’t good; a brain tumor — with no prior symptoms – was the cause. Following surgery and treatment, it led to a year of healing practices for the entrepreneur, who had recently moved to Cape Town after a long career heading international operations at a leading British bank based in Dubai. 
“What I learned is that what’s good for the body is also good for the planet,” said Baillie, the co-founder and CEO, during the regional soft launch at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah in Dubai.

“A plain tiger is an orange butterfly found in the region and ‘they’ say seeing one signifies positive change. They kept landing on our conference room window as we were building the business. And so, we named the brand Plain Tiger: A global platform for conscious luxury lifestyle products.”
The first of its kind, the platform curates leading ethical and sustainable fashion, beauty and home decor brands from across the world. Many of the 185 brands are exclusively available through Plain Tiger in the Middle East and North Africa and represent the most carefully crafted products from over 20 countries across six continents. These are brands on the rise in cities like Paris, London, Milan, Sydney and New York.
“At a time when sustainability has such a strong focus in the region, it’s the perfect time to be launching in MENA,” said Baillie, who now moved back to Dubai with his wife. “Governments like those of the UAE and Saudi Arabia are driving positive change, and businesses are looking to improve their environmental impact.”  
Last month, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince launched a Middle East Green Initiative, aimed at raising $10.4 billion for an investment fund and clean energy projects to reduce carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the UAE will play host to global climate summit COP 28 in 2023. The steps are in place and brands like Plain Tiger have a true opportunity to make a difference.
The brand is also launching a sustainability accelerator in the region, inviting local startups to assess their ethical practices at early stages of building their businesses.
“Sustainability is a buzzword that can be thrown around, but we have really stringent requirements for brands hosted on our e-commerce platform,” said Baillie.
At a time when many businesses are still setting strategies to become net zero, Plain Tiger has already secured a “climate positive” status. Each order made has a positive impact on the environment thanks to Plain Tiger’s three-part strategy: Conscious product curation, minimizing company carbon emissions, and offsetting double the remaining carbon emissions by investing in reforestation projects in Uganda and Brazil through their partnership with leading offset provider Pachama. 
Plain Tiger also has a 70 percent female team. The featured designers and manufacturers are all selected for their expertise in their craft and commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, often leveraging processes steeped in tradition and indigenous ingredients or materials. Transparency and traceability is key to Plain Tiger’s ethos. 
“We believe you should know the hands that made your products,”  said co-founder and director, Alexandra Baillie. Her background in luxury retail includes Estee Lauder, La Mer and The Four Seasons spas.
From the packaging to the material, any product purchased on the site holds a promise of ethical luxury. Add to that the passion of the founders and you’ve got powerhouse potential with a lot of heart, too.


China’s industrial profits growth accelerates in Oct

China’s industrial profits growth accelerates in Oct
Updated 6 min 21 sec ago

China’s industrial profits growth accelerates in Oct

China’s industrial profits growth accelerates in Oct

REUTERS: Profits at China’s industrial firms grew at a faster pace in October, the statistics bureau said on Saturday, providing a buffer for a faltering economy battered by soaring raw material prices.
Profits in October rose 24.6 percent from a year earlier to 818.7 billion yuan ($128.1 billion), the official data showed, quickening from a 16.3 percent gain reported in September.
For the January-October period, industrial firms’ profits rose 42.2 percent year-on-year to 7.2 trillion yuan, slower than a 44.7 percent rise in the first nine months of 2021.
The industrial profit data covers large firms with annual revenues of over 20 million yuan from their main operations.
Prices in China have surged amid a power crunch and Beijing has been trying to cool a red-hot market for coal.


Xiaomi to open electric vehicle plant in Beijing

Xiaomi to open  electric vehicle  plant in Beijing
Updated 8 min 17 sec ago

Xiaomi to open electric vehicle plant in Beijing

Xiaomi to open  electric vehicle  plant in Beijing

BEIJING: Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp. will build a plant that can produce 300,000 vehicles annually in Beijing for its electric vehicle unit, authorities in the capital said on Saturday.
The plant will be constructed in two phases and Xiaomi will also built its auto unit’s headquarters, sales and research offices in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, the government-backed economic development agency Beijing E-Town said on its official WeChat account.
Beijing E-Town said it anticipated the plant reaching mass production in 2024.
In March, Xiaomi said it would commit to investing $10 billion in a new electric car division over 10 years. The company completed the business registration of its EV unit in late August.


Italy’s Snam buys stake in Algerian gas pipelines

Italy’s Snam buys stake in Algerian gas pipelines
Updated 12 min 11 sec ago

Italy’s Snam buys stake in Algerian gas pipelines

Italy’s Snam buys stake in Algerian gas pipelines

MILAN: Italy’s Snam has agreed to buy a stake in pipelines carrying Algerian gas into Italy in a move that could pave the way for hydrogen imports from Africa into Europe.
Europe’s biggest gas infrastructure group said on Saturday it would pay energy company Eni €385 million ($436 million) for a 49.9 percent stake in the pipelines to jointly control the assets with its fellow Italian company.
Snam, which makes most of its money from managing Italy’s natural gas transport grid, has pledged to spend more on new, clean business lines such as green hydrogen.
Like other European gas grid operators, it is upgrading its national network to be hydrogen ready.
Snam also owns 20 percent of the TAP pipeline that carries Azeri gas into Italy.


Saudi finance minister OKs amendments to unified GCC Customs Law

Saudi finance minister OKs amendments to unified GCC Customs Law
Updated 27 November 2021

Saudi finance minister OKs amendments to unified GCC Customs Law

Saudi finance minister OKs amendments to unified GCC Customs Law

RIYADH: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who is also chairman of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, has approved amendments to the executive regulations of the Uniform GCC Customs Law, Argaam reported citing the official gazette Umm Al Qura.

As per the amended rules, customs duties on foreign commodities re-exported outside the Gulf Cooperation Council should be refunded, in whole or in part, provided that the exporter (re-exporter) is the importer in whose name the foreign commodities are received, or any person who proves ownership to the Customs Department.

In addition, the re-exported foreign commodities whose customs duties are to be refunded should be from one dispatch, to identify and match them with the import documents, Argaam reported.

Value of the foreign commodities to be re-exported and on which the new rule is applicable should not be less then SR20,000 ($5,332) or its equivalent in other GCC currencies.

The report said: “The refund request should be for foreign commodities that were not used locally after importing from outside the GCC region, and in the same condition they were upon import.

“The foreign commodities should be re-exported within a calendar year from the date of paying the customs duties when importing them for the first time from outside the GCC.”

The refund should be requested within six months from the date of re-export.