Saudi Arabia ‘taking the lead’ in nature-based climate solutions, says KAPSARC

Adam Sieminski, senior adviser to the board of trustees at KAPSARC, speaking to Arab News at COP27. (AN Photo)
Adam Sieminski, senior adviser to the board of trustees at KAPSARC, speaking to Arab News at COP27. (AN Photo)
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Updated 21 November 2022

Saudi Arabia ‘taking the lead’ in nature-based climate solutions, says KAPSARC

Saudi Arabia ‘taking the lead’ in nature-based climate solutions, says KAPSARC
  • Mangrove restoration among critical plans
  • Kingdom’s carbon storage hub key to change

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Nature-based solutions to climate challenges are important and somewhat overlooked globally, particularly remedies that Saudi Arabia have been championing, say experts.

The Riyadh-based King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, in cooperation with the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, released two reports last week on the matter at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Egypt. The solutions focused on the 4Rs of the circular carbon economy which are reduce, reuse, recycle and remove.

“Most people know about the technological type of solutions, carbon capture and storage, putting it into underground aquifers, using it for enhanced oil recovery, direct air capture, and so on,” Adam Sieminski, senior adviser to the board of trustees at KAPSARC, told Arab News.

“But nature-based solutions also fall under this ‘remove’ category, and they’re very, very important, and they are going to be part of everything that Saudi Arabia is doing to put as many opportunities on the table to deal with greenhouse gas emissions as can be done,” he added

Sieminski said the announcements that Saudi Arabia made during COP27 and the Saudi Green Initiative Forum were critical for the future, which included mangrove restoration. He highlighted the plans by Aramco and the Ministry of Energy to build a carbon capture and storage hub in the Eastern Province, and the Public Investment Fund’s initiative to establish a carbon trading platform. “All of these things are going to add very much to the ‘lead by example’ credibility that the Kingdom has been showing.”

KAPSARC, an energy and sustainability think tank, offers research, analysis, consulting and modeling on topics such as oil and gas, utilities, urban transportation, environment, and climate, with a focus on the circular carbon economy.

The think tank also released the second version of its Circular Carbon Economy Index, which was launched during the second edition of the SGI Forum that was held on the sidelines of COP 27. It measures the performance of countries around the world on how they are reducing, reusing, recycling and removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the environment. The first version was launched at the previous COP26 in Glasgow last year.

“KAPSARC hopes to continue to play a role in providing good, non-biased, fact-based research and analysis on climate challenges ... that will help to provide a good basis for policymakers and the policies that are debated and put in place at the COP meetings,” he said.

Sieminski also noted the importance of Vision 2030 for the Kingdom. “KAPSARC is trying to provide sort of the fact-based underlying work to show how Vision 2030 can be accomplished in a positive way for both energy sustainability and the economy, and this is ultimately, I think, going to be a good thing, not just for Saudi Arabia, but for the world.”


Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association was launched at the LEAP 2023 conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The association — comprising over 100 Saudi and Chinese businesses, government entities, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions — seeks to boost cooperation between the private sectors on both sides along with bilateral ties at the government level. 

The nonprofit organization is supported by the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones. It will be operated by eWTP Arabia Capital.

“In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, SCEA will enable cross-border investments and valuable collaborations,” said Jerry Li, founder and managing partner of eWTPA. 

The organization also plans to promote investment, encourage innovation, and develop social responsibility and public welfare.  

“China is a strategic partner for Saudi Arabia in terms of technology and innovation. Having worked closely with Alibaba and eWTPA for the last three years, I highly appreciate their efforts in contributing to the development of our local digital ecosystem,” said Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones. 

Al-Khamisi added: “This association will take our collaboration to the next level and provide the broader Saudi-China business community with a forum to share valuable experiences.”   


Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad
Updated 19 min 12 sec ago

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad
  • 3-day conference being held under title ‘Partnership for the Future’
  • Jordanian delegation to include company representatives from range of sectors

AMMAN: A Jordanian-Iraqi business forum will on Wednesday get underway in Baghdad with company representatives and investors from both countries taking part.
The Jordan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Jordanian Businessmen Association are co-organizing the three-day event, which is being held under the title “Partnership for the Future,” the Jordan News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The participating Jordanian delegation will include representatives of firms operating in various economic sectors including foodstuffs, communications, information technology, medicines, clothing, financial and banking services, insurance, construction, contracting, real estate development, tourism, agriculture, mining, and plastics industries.
In regard to the current global economic situation, the forum will provide a chance for the private sectors of Jordan and Iraq to work together and make the most of the opportunities available, advancing the strategic goals and common interests of the two countries.
The forum will be held concurrently with the joint Jordanian-Iraqi committee meetings and will feature bilateral talks between Jordanian and Iraqi business leaders as well as an overview of investment opportunities in Jordan.
The Jordanian party will be one of the biggest economic delegations to visit Baghdad, reflecting Amman’s desire to forge close economic ties with Iraq and support initiatives launched by King Abdullah II and the Iraqi leadership.


Tonomus teams with Oracle, Nvidia to boost AI capabilities across NEOM, Saudi Arabia

Tonomus teams with Oracle, Nvidia to boost AI capabilities across NEOM, Saudi Arabia
Updated 07 February 2023

Tonomus teams with Oracle, Nvidia to boost AI capabilities across NEOM, Saudi Arabia

Tonomus teams with Oracle, Nvidia to boost AI capabilities across NEOM, Saudi Arabia

 

RIYADH: With the aim of boosting artificial intelligence capabilities across NEOM and Saudi Arabia, Tonomus announced it had teamed up with Oracle and Nvidia at LEAP 23 on Tuesday.
The collaboration by Tonomus, a cognitive multinational conglomerate and the first company to be established as a full-fledged subsidiary of NEOM, is designed to accelerate AI-powered innovation for a broad range of use by enterprises and government organizations.
Tonomus will provide customers with direct access to Nvidia’s advanced AI, digital twin solutions that take advantage of the planned Oracle cloud region to be located at NEOM.
“The longstanding alliance between Oracle and Nvidia complements Tonomus’ ongoing mission to build the infrastructure and ubiquitous connectivity required to enable the world’s first ecosystem of cognitive technologies,” Joseph Bradley, CEO of Tonomus, said.
“This monumental collaboration will empower NEOM with geographical advantage and place Saudi Arabia firmly on the map as a regional hub for the provision of AI capabilities.”
“Tonomus will benefit from Oracle cloud infrastructure’s unmatched capability of supporting modern cloud native applications in a secure environment. This, coupled with our existing partnership with Nvidia, will speed AI adoption for enterprises,” added Richard Smith, executive vice president, cloud and technology, Europe, Middle East, and Africa of Oracle.
“Nvidia software and systems on OCI provide an ideal platform for developers like Tonomus to build AI-forward, modern cities,” Jaap Zuiderveld, vice president of EMEA at Nvidia, commented.


LEAP announces 8 investment funds worth $646m 

LEAP announces 8 investment funds worth $646m 
Updated 24 min 51 sec ago

LEAP announces 8 investment funds worth $646m 

LEAP announces 8 investment funds worth $646m 

RIYADH: Investment funds are set to plough $646 million into Saudi Arabia’s digital sector to boost innovation and entrepreneurship.

The eight projects will target the growth of start-ups and medium-sized companies as they ignite competition in the fields of research, development and innovation.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced the new funds at the LEAP 23 conference being held in Riyadh. 

The leading fund stands at $150 million, and intends to provide alternative financing that is compatible with Islamic law, which will be used for developing technology companies.  

The Saudi investment company Impact 46 also launched a $133 million fund targeting emerging tech companies in the Middle East and North Africa region.  

Merak Capital announced a $53 million pot to develop the Kingdom’s tech companies, and the Saudi Investment Bank has created a $40 million fund to launch an innovation incubator for financial tech. 

Rakeza also launched a daring investment fund worth $25 million, supported by a global business accelerator in Riyadh.  

BIM Ventures Co. has set aside $100 million for business development, and will work with Al-Sulaiman Group to use its corporate-building studio to create emerging tech companies that are both innovative and financially stable.  

A leading tech investor in the region, Shorooq, also opened its second investment fund with a value of $115 million. It was launched to develop companies in the Kingdom, as well as to create another financial fund to accelerate electronic games.  

To conclude the round of investment fund announcements was Planetary Capital’s launch of the first Saudi-Canadian fund.  

It intends to invest in emerging space tech companies, both local and global, with a value of $30 million. 


Closing bell: TASI extends its downward slide, closing 86 points down to 10,461 

Closing bell: TASI extends its downward slide, closing 86 points down to 10,461 
Updated 07 February 2023

Closing bell: TASI extends its downward slide, closing 86 points down to 10,461 

Closing bell: TASI extends its downward slide, closing 86 points down to 10,461 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index on Tuesday lost 86.21 points — or 0.82 percent — to close at 10,469.50. 

While MSCI Tadawul 30 Index dropped 1.11 percent to 1,436.58, the parallel market Nomu rose 1.23 percent to 18,992.80. 

TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Tuesday was SR3.76 billion ($1 billion), with 101 stocks of the listed 224 advancing and 109 retreating. 

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. was the worst performer as it fell 5 percent to SR152. The other poor performers were Tourism Enterprise Co., Middle East Specialized Cables Co., Riyad Bank and Basic Chemical Industries Co. 

Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development was the topmost gainer, rising 4.60 percent to SR24.54.  

Americana Restaurants International also soared 4.01 percent to SR3.89 — the stock’s highest level since it was listed in December 2022. The stock has risen 42 percent since then.  

The other top performers included Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co., Raydan Food Co. and Tabuk Agricultural Development Co. 

Among sectoral indices, 15 of the 21 listed on the stock exchange declined, while the rest advanced. 

On the announcements front, Edarat Communication and Information Technology Co. informed the stock exchange that it signed a one-year renewable framework agreement to provide cloud hosting services to government agencies. 

Under the contract, the company will carry out various types of cloud computing services by submitting direct purchase orders from the beneficiary to Edarat. Its share price edged up to SR304.20 

Savola Group’s board of directors approved the buyback of up to 2.5 million shares as treasury shares to be allocated for the long-term employee stock incentive plan. 

The purpose of the repurchase is to attract and retain outstanding talent and to motivate them to strengthen their performance further, the company said in a statement to Tadawul. However, Savola’s share price dropped 2.92 percent to SR28.3. 

Molan Steel Co. also renewed Shariah-compliant credit facilities worth SR5 million with Alinma Bank, the company said in a statement to Tadawul. 

In addition, the firm increased the credit facilities by SR3.5 million, bringing its total loans secured from Alinma Bank to SR8.5 million. 

The facilities are to finance the working capital requirements and will be available until Oct. 31. The steelmaker’s share price gained 1.44 percent to SR35.15. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. also told the exchange that it would outline its revamped five-year strategy in a virtual meeting on Tuesday. SPIMACO’s strategy sets ambitious targets to grow revenue by a compound annual growth rate of 13-15 percent up to 2027 and achieve a 15-17 percent earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization margin by 2027 through adopting a new and improved business model. The company’s share price closed marginally up at SR23.