Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

Exclusive Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO
Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port (Shutterstock)
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Updated 14 June 2022

Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

Saudi Arabia needs private investments to keep logistics on the move: NIDLP CEO

RIYADH: “Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector needs a huge investment combined between the government and private sector by 2030, as Vision 2030 targets to become a global logistic hub,” said Sulaiman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program.

During an exclusive interview with Arab News, Al-Mazroua said that upgrading the existing ports will help the Kingdom serve three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. He added that the Kingdom would provide the right environment and regulations to attract world transportation companies which will help Saudi Arabia emerge as one of the world’s busiest logistics centers.

He added: “We still need more upgrading to some of our facilities, including our airports and ports.” 




Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program. (AN)

The vitality of SMEs

Al-Mazroua added that small and medium enterprises in the Kingdom should develop innovative technological ideas to fill gaps in logistics. 

He noted that tapping into cutting-edge technologies is necessary to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of becoming an industrial powerhouse and global logistics hub.

“This area (technology) in logistics, specifically, is very attractive to small and medium businesses, and innovation in that area is extremely open. So with more SMEs coming in to fill gaps in logistics, you will need less time and cost to produce. And whenever there’s competition, innovation comes to play,” Al-Mazroua told Arab News.

We will be capitalizing on our smart youth

Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program

Prime Movers of Logistics

He also noted that  Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on its youth to revolutionize the sector, in addition to cooperating with private companies.

“We will be capitalizing on our smart and capable youth. And our government will enable this logistic hub with the infrastructure requirements. The private sector be an important partner with its technologies. We have seen Apple and Amazon come up with own their technologies. We also have major Saudi companies in the technology field developing their own.”

Strategic Location for A Global Logistics Hub

According to Al-Mazroua, Saudi Arabia’s geographical location is a crucial factor that could elevate the country’s spot on the logistics map in the future.

The Kingdom lies in a strategic location between the three continents, on the coast of the Red Sea, where more than 13 percent of the world’s logistic traffic passes yearly

Talking about the plans to transform the Kingdom into a top global logistics hub, he said, “Privatization of the ports with free zones will attract the right investments, build the right regulations and policies for investors to come and get connected with the world through trade agreements. So that is just a summary of our plans guided by Vision 2030, an ambitious yet achievable blueprint for our future.”


UAE and Oman sign 16 agreements in transport, energy, and finance

UAE and Oman sign 16 agreements in transport, energy, and finance
Updated 29 sec ago

UAE and Oman sign 16 agreements in transport, energy, and finance

UAE and Oman sign 16 agreements in transport, energy, and finance
  • UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrived in Oman on Tuesday for a two-day visit
  • Sultan Haitham bin Tariq hosted a dinner banquet for his Emirati counterpart

DUBAI: The UAE and Oman signed 16 agreements in transport, energy, industry, and finance on the sidelines of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s visit to Muscat.
As part of the agreements, the national railway operators of both countries established a joint company with investment of about $3.01 billion to set up and operate a railway linking Oman’s Sohar port with the UAE’s network, Oman's state news agency reported on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrived in Oman on Tuesday for a two-day visit.
He was received by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman before both leaders engaged in talks on strengthening bilateral ties at Al-Alam Palace.
“Their talks centered around the two leaders’ shared vision for a secure and stable region that promotes sustainable development and supports a thriving economy where people can realise their full potential,” according to a statement on the Emirates News Agency
Sultan Haitham bin Tariq hosted a dinner banquet for his Emirati counterpart on the first day of his visit. Both leaders also exchanged medals and gifts at Al-Alam Palace.


Knowledge Tower Trading to proceed with IPO for 20% stake on Nomu

Knowledge Tower Trading to proceed with IPO for 20% stake on Nomu
Updated 10 min 59 sec ago

Knowledge Tower Trading to proceed with IPO for 20% stake on Nomu

Knowledge Tower Trading to proceed with IPO for 20% stake on Nomu

RIYADH: Knowledge Tower Trading Co. will conduct an initial public offering of its 350,000 ordinary shares on the Nomu-Parallel Market according to the company’s plans, revealed by its financial advisor Watheeq Capital.

This represents around 20 percent of Knowledge Tower’s SR18 million ($5 million) share capital, which is divided into 1.75 million shares, as it was stated in a filing with the Stock Exchange.

The end price of the offering is expected to be determined once the book-building process for the offering has been completed.

The offering period will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3 for qualified investors, according to the statement.

As of Sept. 12, the Capital Market Authority has approved the company’s application to list on the parallel market Nomu.

This came after it secured the approval of the listing by the Saudi Exchange on July 24.

Watheeq Capital has been appointed as Knowledge Tower’s Financial Advisor, while Derayah Financial has been appointed as Knowledge Tower’s Lead Manager for the IPO.

In its latest earnings report, Knowledge Tower posted SR3.6 million in profits during its financial year ending in March, with its revenue exceeding SR20 million during the same period.

The company expected that its shares would start trading on the parallel market once all its letters were completed.

The Dammam-based company is currently engaged in the wholesale distribution of stationery and office supplies, as well as the retail sale of stationery, newspapers, and magazines as part of its business activities.

The company also publishes printed books, dictionaries, atlases, and maps in addition to importing and producing written, drawn, and illustrated intellectual products.

It is the sole agent for American books published by National Geographic for American schools in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi stock exchange Tadawul Group announced in March that it had received more than 70 listing applications for both the main index TASI, as well as the parallel index Nomu.

The Saudi Stock Exchange recorded 17 initial share sales in the first half of the year, generating proceeds amounting to $5.07 billion.

The parallel Nomu market accounted for nine listings worth $649 million.

This number is up from 15 offerings during the whole of 2021, which raised almost $5 billion.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 27, TASI, the main market, has listed 10 IPOs, while Nomu, the parallel market, has listed 11 IPOs.


Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always
Updated 14 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always
  • Not Hot Collection for women to stave off heat, humidity
  • ‘Biggest appeal was hi-tech material to keep cool and dry’

DUBAI: In a bid to beat the heat in style, Saudi fashion designer Nasiba Hafiz has teamed up with US feminine care giant Always, distributed by Procter & Gamble, to launch a new heat-resistant fashion collection.

The Not Hot Collection — dubbed the world’s first designer period wear by the brand — was inspired by Always Cool & Dry, a sanitary pad that was created to keep women feeling cool during their period. “When Always first approached me, I thought it was a great opportunity to explore the idea of working with this type of technology. It was also a challenge to work with plain yet very bright fabrics. Usually, I mostly work with prints. Also, as a woman who’s been brought up in Saudi (Arabia), Always was probably the most trusted brand out there, so I did not hesitate,” said Hafiz.

The Not Hot Collection features pops of color, breezy and comfortable shapes, and lightweight layers. (Supplied)

The designer, who likes to work with out-of-the-box fabrics and vibrant colors, is looking to change the way the world sees Saudi fashion. With comfort a priority, her clothes are created with the region’s intense heat and humidity in mind. “I’d say color and prints are always two main factors for my process when I design, but the biggest appeal to me was the technology of the material which keeps you cool and dry,” said Hafiz.

The Not Hot Collection features pops of color, breezy and comfortable shapes, and lightweight layers, “marrying style with function.” Think features like pockets, bike shorts that sit beneath a flowy dress, driving gloves and car seats that protect against searing-hot steering wheels — basically pieces that women in the Gulf need to stay cool.

Going into more detail about how she created the collection, Hafiz continued: “The design process took place during the hottest month of the year in Saudi (Arabia), and if I can even say this, I got inspired by the heat. I started thinking of the colors and materials that would bring me joy and make me feel a little better. Flowy silhouettes were a big part of the design, and at the same time, it had to be cool and active.”

“My favorite piece is the patched top that has a 90s feel to it: It’s on trend and it also allowed me to work with extra materials and not waste fabric,” she added.

Always x Nasiba Hafiz’s Not Hot Collection is now selling via a pop-up concept store in Jeddah and via https://nasibahafiz.com.


Kishida promises support for two-state solution in meeting with former Palestine PM

Kishida promises support for two-state solution in meeting with former Palestine PM
Updated 14 min 57 sec ago

Kishida promises support for two-state solution in meeting with former Palestine PM

Kishida promises support for two-state solution in meeting with former Palestine PM
  • Kishida stated that Japan should refrain from any unilateral measures that go against the peace process

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday reiterated his support for a “two-state solution” to the Palestinian problem during a “candid exchange of views” with former Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Kishida stated that Japan should refrain from any unilateral measures that go against the peace process and said he would like to continue contributing to the improvement of the environment for the progress of peace in the Middle East.

Japan’s PM also expressed his support for Palestine’s economic self-reliance through food assistance of more than $8 million – which was provided in response to the deterioration of food security in Palestine as a result of the situation in Ukraine – and the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative promoted by Japan. Hamdallah expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support. 

Hamdallah conveyed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ condolences on the passing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Kishida expressed his gratitude for the condolences sent by Palestinian officials.

Both sides agreed to continue to develop the relationship between Japan and Palestine.

This article was originally published on Arab News Japan.


Prior restraint: Elon Musk claims government-imposed muzzle unlawful

Prior restraint: Elon Musk claims government-imposed muzzle unlawful
Updated 19 min 51 sec ago

Prior restraint: Elon Musk claims government-imposed muzzle unlawful

Prior restraint: Elon Musk claims government-imposed muzzle unlawful
  • Court brief: Musk’s speech is chilled by the threat of SEC investigations and prosecution for contempt of court

DETROIT: US Securities regulators are unlawfully muzzling Tesla CEO Elon Musk, violating his free speech rights by continually trying to enforce a 2018 securities fraud settlement, Musk’s lawyer contends in a court brief.
The document, filed late Tuesday with the federal appeals court in Manhattan, was written to support Musk’s appeal of a lower court’s April decision to uphold the settlement with Securities and Exchange Commission.
The brief says that a provision in the settlement requiring Musk to get prior approval before tweeting about the electric car company is an illegal “government-imposed muzzle on Mr. Musk’s speech before it is made.”
The settlement required that his tweets be approved by a Tesla attorney before being published. The SEC is investigating whether Musk violated the settlement with tweets last November asking Twitter followers if he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock.
But in the brief, Musk attorney Alex Spiro contends that the SEC is continually investigating Musk for topics not covered by the settlement. It asks the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to strike or modify the prior approval provision.
“The pre-approval provision in the consent decree qualifies as a prior restraint on speech that runs afoul of the First Amendment,” Spiro wrote. “It forbids future lawful speech on a range of topics absent approval.”
Further, Musk’s speech is chilled by the threat of SEC investigations and prosecution for contempt of court, the brief said.
The whole dispute stems from an October 2018 agreement with the SEC that Musk signed. He and Tesla each agreed to pay $20 million in civil fines over Musk’s tweets about having the “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share.
The funding was far from locked up, and the electric vehicle company remains public, but Tesla’s stock price jumped. The settlement specified governance changes, including Musk’s ouster as board chairman, as well as pre-approval of his tweets.
In April, US District Judge Lewis Liman in New York rejected Musk’s bid to throw out the settlement that he signed with the SEC. He also denied a motion to nullify a subpoena of Musk seeking information about possible violations of the settlement.
Liman’s ruling said that Musk made the tweets without getting pre-approval, but the judge later wrote that he didn’t mean to pass judgment on that issue.
A message was left early Wednesday seeking comment from the SEC.
Spiro writes that Mr. Musk’s waiver of his First Amendment rights in the settlement was not voluntary because there was no way for Musk to know how far reaching it was. “The provision applies to future speech about circumstances no one could anticipate in advance,” he wrote.
Musk, he said, is under constant threat that the SEC will disagree with his interpretation of what he can say. Musk also agreed to the deal when Tesla was a smaller company and the SEC action could have jeopardized its financing.
“The SEC has maintained constant investigations into Mr. Musk’s speech, employing nebulous interpretations of the consent decree seemingly designed to curb and chill his future speech, all regarding speech entirely unrelated to the 2018 tweet for which the SEC initiated this action,” Spiro wrote.
Tesla is now the most valuable automaker in the world, and Musk is the world’s wealthiest person.
Liman ruled that Musk’s claim that economic duress caused him to sign the settlement is “wholly unpersuasive.”
Even if Musk was worried that litigation with the SEC would ruin Tesla financially, “that does not establish a basis for him to get out of the judgment he voluntarily signed,” Liman wrote.
The judge also said Musk’s argument that the SEC had used the settlement order to harass Musk and launch investigations was “meritless.”