Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations
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Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs met with the EU Political and Security Committee. (SPA)
Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations
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Adel Al-Jubeir hold talks with Marie Arena in Riyadh. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 November 2022

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations
  • Topics for discussion during the meeting focused on climate change, energy and other issues of mutual concern
  • The EU delegation included Political and Security Committee chairperson Delphine Pronk, and Helen Le Gal, MD for MENA at the European External Action Service

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Affairs Envoy Adel Al-Jubeir on Tuesday met with the Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Marie Arena.

During their meeting in Brussels, they reviewed Saudi and EU efforts to promote human rights and discussed ways to boost cooperation, particularly with Vision 2030 targets in mind.

In addition, talks centered around recent developments on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Al-Jubeir also held a meeting with Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs. They discussed ways to promote and develop relations in all areas.

On Monday, the minister met a delegation from the EU’s Political and Security Committee that included committee chairperson, Delphine Pronk, and Helen Le Gal, managing director for the Middle East and North Africa at the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic service.

Saudi-EU relations, global matters such as climate change and the energy crisis, and Saudi Arabia’s environmental activities including the Saudi Green and Middle East initiatives, featured high on the meeting’s agenda.

Al-Jubeir also met Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission, responsible for the European Green Deal.

They discussed environmental and climate change issues with reference to the outcomes of the recent COP27 conference held in Egypt, and other international initiatives.

Ways to further develop cooperation between the Kingdom and the EU on environmental conservation and combating climate change also formed a key part of the talks.

 


Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 
Updated 17 sec ago

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

Saudi startup outlook to be explored at LEAP2023 

RIYADH: Unique challenges that startups in the Kingdom face when trying to secure funding will be the subject of a panel discussion on the final day of the LEAP 2023 conference on Thursday.

“The Road to Success: The Journey of Saudi Pre-seeds Starting to Get Funded” will also explore the outlook for startups in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.

Elina Idrisova, regional director of Digital Transformation, who will be part of the panel, told Arab News that the sessions will be about “how government is supporting these initiatives in order to accelerate the transformation and technology adoption.” 

Successful Saudi software startup Elevatus will be included in the discussion. 

Idrisova said that accelerators in Saudi Arabia are actively supporting and mentoring early-stage startups to help secure funding.

The Kingdom is planning to invest more than $25 billion to expand the technology ecosystem, the regional director said.

She said that the session will also discuss ways Saudi startups can attract global investors and scale worldwide.

“I also want to highlight the exceptional support of accelerators and programs such as Venture Studios and different university research centers, which help startups to get more deep research and to understand the market well, to get to know how to conduct the right assessments and to create the product that’s really needed by the market,” she said. 
 


Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 
Updated 08 February 2023

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 

Saudi fund backs employment opportunities for Hail graduates 
  • The agreement was signed by Turki Al-Jawini, director general of the fund, and Rashid Al-Sharif, president of the University of Hail
  • Turki Al-Jawini: We look forward to contributing to the development of the skills and capabilities of the Kingdom’s citizens

RIYADH: The Saudi Human Resources Development Fund and the University of Hail have signed a cooperation agreement to support graduates of the future “with the aim of increasing their competitiveness in the labor market and raising the employment rate.”

The agreement was signed by Turki Al-Jawini, director general of the fund, and Rashid Al-Sharif, president of the University of Hail, on the sidelines of the Liaqaat Hail Forum, which was held under the patronage of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad, the governor of the Hail region.

A statement from the fund said the agreement was a strategic partnership “to achieve their common goals of training, qualifying and employing the university graduates and students expected to graduate, of both sexes, and job seekers, in an effort to develop their skills and provide them with individual and basic skills and experience, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

The fund provides financial and training support under the agreement, along with incentives to the employment office at the university and its employees, through programs such as “Subol,” the vocational development and guidance platform; “Doroob,” the national e-training platform; “Tamheer,” the on-the-job training program; and “Taqat,” the national labor portal.

Al-Jawini said: “We are keen on holding forums that will develop and empower national capacities, ensuring sustainable employment and motivating the private sector to contribute to Saudization. This will contribute to raising Saudization rates and supporting the participation of national cadres in various fields and specializations of the labor market.

“We look forward to contributing to the development of the skills and capabilities of the Kingdom’s citizens, enabling them to find job opportunities, and to invest optimally in human capital, in compliance with the directives of our wise leadership, and in line with development plans to support the national economy.”


KSrelief launches charity campaign to help those affected by quake in Turkiye and Syria

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
Updated 08 February 2023

KSrelief launches charity campaign to help those affected by quake in Turkiye and Syria

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah launches the charity campaign in Riyadh on Wednesday. (KSrelief)
  • A total of SR25 million ($6.7 million) had been donated to the campaign at the time of writing
  • The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade has passed 11,000

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center launched a charity campaign on Wednesday to help those affected by a devastating earthquake which hit southeast Turkiye and northern Syria on Monday.

The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade has passed 11,000.

The campaign was launched via KSrelief’s Sahem Platform, and the center will work with several Saudi agencies and ministries to support the affected and injured in Syria and Turkiye.

Donations can be made through the Sahem app and website, or via transfers to a bank account designated to the campaign.

The Supervisor-General of KSrelief Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said the campaign includes the implementation of various programs, including the launch of an air-bridge during the coming hours to deliver shelter, health, food, and logistical aid to those affected.

Rescue, rapid intervention, and emergency medical teams will travel to the afflicted countries and will work with Saudi volunteer teams to alleviate the suffering of those who have been afflicted by the quake, Al-Rabeeah explained.

He added that shelter, food, and health materials will be provided according to the humanitarian need identified by assessment teams.

A total of SR25 million ($6.7 million) had been donated to the campaign at the time of writing, Al-Ekhbariya reported.


New deal to boost Saudi creative sector

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector
Updated 08 February 2023

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector

New deal to boost Saudi creative sector
  • KPMG, Al-Mashtal enter strategic partnership to nurture young talent for sustainable creative economy
  • Al-Mashtal strives to impact not just the community, but the creative economy as a whole in leading incubations and programs on a national level and beyond

RIYADH: KPMG Professional Services and Al-Mashtal Community House and Creative Incubator recently announced a strategic partnership, marking a new era of collaboration between two industry leaders that signals a promising future for Saudi Arabia’s creative sector.

The nature of KPMG’s involvement is to provide professional support for Al-Mashtal in growing their business not only creatively but sustainably. Al-Mashtal will also act as a liaison between entrepreneurs and KPMG specialists and mentors to transform their passion into a viable and actionable business.

Ebrahim Baeshen, office managing partner at KPMG, told Arab News: “Our role here comes to ensure that they (Al-Mashtal) succeed not only by introducing a great idea, or a great product, but by making it sustainable.”

As a creative and community house, Al-Mashtal is dedicated to nurturing the talents of young and emerging Saudi creatives to harness a sustainable creative economy within the region.

Sohaib Zafir, CEO of Al-Mashtal, told Arab News: “Corporations aren’t generally concerned with creative ventures, but KPMG have a great interest in creating social impact within communities.”

The partnership with Al-Mashtal is just one of the initiatives under KPMG’s IMPACT plan, which aims to maximize the influence of environmental, social, and governance on communities to maintain a culture of support and progress.

“Through that program, we have different initiatives … at times we fund, we give money to charity, at times we help by giving lectures, by building materials similar to (Al-Mashtal) and help them by bringing our experts to educate entrepreneurs, to teach them and let them know how to manage a business and do all these things,” Baeshen said.

The incubator has slowly become a hub for local creatives to gather, share ideas, and present various creative initiatives through their hosting of consistent panel discussions, networking sessions, music performances, and more.

It also recently partnered with the Saudi Design Festival to bring the “Brand Your Neighborhood” design challenge. The initiative allowed local creatives to build urban branding and design concepts in Riyadh, Jeddah, and the Eastern Province.

Through Al-Mashtal’s incubation programs that take an educational approach to helping entrepreneurs develop their startups, KPMG will be providing consultations on professional skills, like financing and accounting, and personal soft skills, such as negotiation and pitching.

Al-Mashtal strives to impact not just the community, but the creative economy as a whole in leading incubations and programs on a national level and beyond.

“Our goal isn’t to become legends or be the best, but rather move the sector along. Al-Mashtal will become more than happy if we have competitors, because that creates sustainability within the industry,” Zafir said.

The creative house has been gradually setting the blueprint for drafting the infrastructure of creative incubation within the Kingdom. It acquired the first creative incubation business license in the Kingdom.

KPMG and Al-Mashtal first collaborated in 2021 on a project that proved fruitful for both parties. Baeshan said: “We know great things about Al-Mashtal because we started with them … it’s a great success story even for us to see them succeeding in what they're doing.”


100 Saudi chefs, baristas attend hospitality event in Jeddah

100 Saudi chefs, baristas attend hospitality event in Jeddah
Updated 08 February 2023

100 Saudi chefs, baristas attend hospitality event in Jeddah

100 Saudi chefs, baristas attend hospitality event in Jeddah
  • Local and international food and beverages and hospitality-related companies from 30 countries attend the three-day event

Jeddah: More than 100 young Saudi chefs and baristas are competing at this year’s hotels, restaurants, and catering event at the Jeddah Dome.

HORECA is the biggest annual hospitality exhibition in the region, having previously taken place in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Riyadh.

Local and international food and beverages and hospitality-related companies from 30 countries are attending the three-day event that opened on Tuesday.

President of the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association, chef Yasser Jad, told Arab News that this year’s competition, organized by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies and the Saudi association, would not only be focusing on international dishes but also Saudi traditional cuisine.

Jad said: “Through this competition, we seek to identify and promote the popular dishes that are part of the Kingdom’s culinary culture.”

HORECA is hosting the Hospitality Salon Culinaire, in which more than 150 chefs compete in various categories, and the Saudi Barista Competition with around 50 entrants aiming to win the best barista award.

At the opening ceremony, Saud Al-Rajhi, chairman of the Saudi Event Management and Marketing Co., told Arab News: “After the huge success of HORECA for 11 consecutive years in Riyadh, we are proud and honored to introduce HORECA Jeddah for the first time. In addition, we are also bringing to Jeddah the Salon du Chocolat.”

He pointed out that HORECA provided a platform for key buyers to network with investors, retailers, distributors, and stakeholders.

“The three-day event marks an important step forward for Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning hospitality sector and evolving restaurant and cafe scene. We have around 6,000 brands and we are expecting around 30,000 visitors,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Attas, founder and managing partner of Gaiat Hub, a procurement platform for business supplies, credited the Saudi government for helping put the hospitality industry back on its feet.

“The Saudi market is becoming a very encouraging market for all international companies due to the mega projects, the great business environment for foreign investors, the change of Saudi lifestyle, and more,” he said.