World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 
Speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders, the private sector, and international organizations should work together to reform the existing system. (Shutterstock/File)
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Updated 23 June 2023
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World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

RIYADH: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said that the world should act urgently to change the operational model of the global financial system. 

Speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, Macron said that world leaders, the private sector, and international organizations should work together to reform the existing system, and if they fail in their efforts, it will negatively impact the trust of people.  

“If we miss the target ... trust of our people will be lost. We have to create a collective dynamic, and we need much more from the private sector,” said Macron, adding that the next two years will be crucial.  

Speaking at the summit, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said that the global financial architecture is outdated.  

According to him, it is also dysfunctional and unjust and has failed to provide a safety net for emerging and developing countries.  

“We can take steps right now and take a giant leap to achieve global justice. I put forward the policy brief, a detailed blueprint for a redesigned global financial architecture capable of serving as a safety net for all countries,” said Guterres. 

He added: “I have no illusions. This is a question of power and political will, and change will not happen overnight. 

“But we can take urgent action today to meet the urgent needs of the developing and emerging economies.”  

For her part, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that swift action is required to uplift the interests of emerging countries and the planet as a whole.  

“What is required of us now is absolute transformation and not reform of our institutions. We come to Paris to identify the common humanity that we share and the absolute moral imperative to save our planet and to make it livable,” said Mottley.

She went on to urge world leaders to join hands to reform the global financial system for a better future.  

“Let us, representatives of our people, at this unique time in the history of civilization, not only do the right thing, but do it in time, and do it for the right reasons,” added Mottley. 


Siemens inaugurates electrical equipment facility in Jeddah

Siemens inaugurates electrical equipment facility in Jeddah
Updated 11 sec ago
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Siemens inaugurates electrical equipment facility in Jeddah

Siemens inaugurates electrical equipment facility in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Multinational technology company Siemens unveiled its new electrical equipment factory in Jeddah in the presence of the Kingdom’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef.

In partnership with its Saudi partner, Arabia Electric Ltd Equipment Co, the firm inaugurated the facility on Feb. 29 at the Modon Oasis in Jeddah.

The 6,000 sq. m factory produces electrical equipment such as substation automation systems, communication and protection panels, and other products for the utility, oil and gas, infrastructure, and petrochemical industries.

The facility will operate with a 120-person workforce.

In an interview with Arab News, the minister of industry highlighted that establishing factories by major international companies in the Kingdom indicates the country’s capability to accommodate diverse industries. Moreover, he underscored that “Saudi Made” branding will soon adorn Lucid automobiles.

“Saudi Arabia remains committed to its strategy as we have created a favorable environment for industrial investment, allowing industry investors to strengthen their capabilities within the Kingdom. This endeavor goes beyond serving the local market, aiming to expand exports to both the region and worldwide,” Alkhorayef said.

He added that the country industry clusters in Saudi Arabia can be divided into two types: “One is the industrial zones and the Modon Oases, like this one here in Jeddah. We are also working closely with several industries that need to exist in clusters to create a sort of integration between them, such as the car manufacturing cluster. We have previous experience in such clusters, like the ones of petrochemicals in Jubail and Yanbu.” 

He revealed that they are planning to establish a food manufacturing cluster in Jazan as well as a mineral industry cluster in Ras Al-Khair in the country’s Eastern Province.

Commenting on the inauguration of the Siemens factory in Jeddah, Alkhorayef congratulated the German company for establishing the facility.

“This move by Siemens serves as proof that the opportunities in Saudi Arabia position it as a significant hub for manufacturing companies,” he remarked, emphasizing that the electricity sector stands out as one of the largest divisions experiencing substantial growth.

The minister elaborated, stating: “We will persist in attracting numerous investments, leveraging capabilities previously imported from outside the Kingdom, and even exporting products developed within the country.”

Alkhorayef concluded his interview with Arab News by asserting that Saudi Arabia is earnestly prioritizing nationalization.

He highlighted that the country’s industrial strategy capitalizes on its inherent strengths, including robust domestic demand and abundant raw materials such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, and minerals.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s strategic geographical location further enhances its appeal to both local and international companies.

Ahmad Hawsawi, CEO of Siemens in Saudi Arabia, said that the company is proud to contribute to the Kingdom’s journey toward an innovative and sustainable future.

“Our new factory in Jeddah is not just a manufacturing facility; it’s a hub of innovation designed to meet the Kingdom’s growing demands for energy solutions. By deploying Siemens’ cutting-edge technologies, Saudi Arabia is set to witness unparalleled improvements in the efficiency and resilience of its energy systems.” Hawsawi said.

Eltje Aderhold, consul general of Germany, said that she is “very proud” of this cooperation between Saudi Arabia and her country.

“This project represents the good development of cooperation between Germany and Saudi Arabia, and it is a sign that we are building our future together,” she said, adding that German companies and their Saudi partners are increasingly coming together.

Aderhold further said that Germany is “very much interested in working with its Saudi partners toward Vision 2030, investing, transforming new, clean energy, protecting climate and developing new technologies.” 

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Industrial Affairs Khalil Salamah, along with executives from the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority and the National Industrial Development Center.

Additional firms in attendance included the Saudi Electricity Co., Aramco, and SABIC, as well as Ma’aden, EA Juffali & Brothers, and other prominent government and private sector companies.

Khaled Juffali, chairman of Ebrahim A. Juffali and Brothers Group, and also a member of the Arabia Electric Equipment Co. board and Siemens in Saudi Arabia, said: “We are thrilled to open our new facility in Jeddah, which represents our strong belief in the potential of Saudi Arabia’s economic development plan.

"Our commitment goes beyond investment in infrastructure; we are here to build partnerships, support talent development, and contribute to the Kingdom’s sustainability goals according to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.” 

 


Saudi Arabia’s first School of Public Policy to launch masters programs in September: top official 

Saudi Arabia’s first School of Public Policy to launch masters programs in September: top official 
Updated 25 min 33 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s first School of Public Policy to launch masters programs in September: top official 

Saudi Arabia’s first School of Public Policy to launch masters programs in September: top official 

RIYADH: The School of Public Policy at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center will commence offering masters degree courses in September 2024, confirmed a top official. 

In an interview with Arab News, Ghadah Al-Arifi, founding dean of the school, stated that this educational institution, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, will initially attract individuals already in the job market for its new program. 

Al-Arifi said: “We have already started offering executive training and education through several programs with international and national partners. In 2023, we trained over 600 employees in the private, government and nonprofit sectors in 17 organizations.”  

On the first day of the Human Capability Initiative, KAPSARC announced obtaining an establishment license for its School of Public Policy. The school aims to set groundbreaking standards in policy studies through two-year master’s degree and executive education programs. 

“In September 2024, we will start our academic programs by offering a master’s in public policy. In terms of the master programs, we are looking to attract people who are already in the job market,” said the dean.  

To enroll in the master’s degree program, candidates are required to hold a graduate degree and demonstrate proficiency in English language skills. 

“The requirement is having a bachelor’s degree and possessing a minimum standard of English language and other types of requirements. We accept people, all graduates from all disciplines to our school,” said Al-Arifi.  

She mentioned that they have some pre-sessional courses that could help individuals lacking essential skills for success in the curriculum, adding: "We accept everyone, and we will make sure that whoever lacks some skills, we will have the right preparations for them.” 

During the discussion, Al-Arifi mentioned that the establishment of the institute aligns with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

“With Vision 2030, there is an urgent need to prepare public policy leaders, people working in government and private sector to work on the development evaluation and impact assessment of current and future policies. With that vision, High Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman came up with the idea to establish the first School of Public Policy in Saudi Arabia,” she noted.  

Al-Arifi further emphasized that the School of Public Policy aims to attract students, both local and international. 

“The international reputation of KAPSARC holds a lot of value in the international arena, especially in the area of energy economics and policy. We would like to leverage the expertise we have at KAPSARC,” she said.  

The dean disclosed that the curriculum offered at the school will be “fresh, new, and cutting-edge,” developed by international experts in the field of public policy. 

“When you look at our curriculum, the curriculum is infused with a lot of applied learning. A lot of that is tools, simulations and local case studies,” said Al-Arifi. 

She mentioned that the program currently comprises three distinguished tracks: public management and leadership, climate and energy policy, and data application and public policy. “We would like to expand our offering in the future.”  

During the discussion, she revealed that KAPSARC is also planning to offer a crash course for individuals working in the media sector. 

“So those media representatives, whenever they cover any news about energy, climate and sustainability, they will have the right definitions. They will have a broader understanding of the issues,” Al-Arifi concluded.  


Closing Bell: Saudi bourses end the week in green  

Closing Bell: Saudi bourses end the week in green  
Updated 32 min 9 sec ago
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Closing Bell: Saudi bourses end the week in green  

Closing Bell: Saudi bourses end the week in green  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rallied for the third consecutive day, gaining 19.44 points to close at 12,630.86. 

The Kingdom’s parallel market, Nomu, also rose on Thursday, gaining 110.79 points to reach 26,402.82. 

The MSCI Tadawul Index edged up by 0.06 percent to close at 1,623.68. 

The benchmark index posted a trading value of SR12.93 billion ($3.45 billion), with 97 stocks advancing and 123 declining. 

Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries Co., also known as Avalon Pharma, which debuted on Tadawul on Tuesday, was the best performer of the day. The company’s share price surged by 29.91 percent to SR179.80. 

Other top performers were Al-Rajhi Co. for Cooperative Insurance and Saudi Automotive Services Co., whose share prices soared by 10 percent and 8.77 percent, respectively. 

The worst performer was Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co., as its share price slipped by 8.01 percent to SR8.27. 

On the announcements front, Saudi utility firm ACWA Power reported that its net profit inched up by 8 percent in 2023 to SR1.66 billion compared to the previous year. 

In a bourse filing, the company attributed the rise in profit to higher operating income from existing projects, mainly due to better plant availability. 

The company added that lower Zakat and tax charges, along with lower impairment loss and other expenses, also supported its net profit growth last year. 

In 2023, ACWA Power’s total revenue surged by 15.52 percent to SR6.09 billion compared to the preceding year. 

The statement revealed that total shareholders’ equity, after minority interest, stood at SR19.15 billion by Dec. 31, 2023, compared to SR18.65 billion a year ago. 

Meanwhile, Arabian Centers Co., also known as Cenomi Centers, announced the start of US dollar-denominated Shariah-compliant sukuk issuance.  

In a Tadawul statement, the company said that the issue value and the offer price will be determined pending the market conditions. 

On Thursday, Alinma Bank announced the completion of its dollar-denominated Additional Tier 1 capital certificates issuance at a value of $1 billion.  

The Additional Tier 1 capital certificates will be listed on the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange. 


Global South must focus on developing human capabilities, experts say

Global South must focus on developing human capabilities, experts say
Updated 48 min 18 sec ago
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Global South must focus on developing human capabilities, experts say

Global South must focus on developing human capabilities, experts say

RIYADH: Discussions on investing in human capital in the Global South must consider the effects of geopolitical tensions, refugee crises, and disease outbreaks, a panel of experts said. 

Rami Ahmad, Islamic Development Bank’s senior adviser to the president, noted that, like many other multilateral development banks, the ISDB was “priding itself” on its investments in human capital and infrastructure in the region prior to 2011. 

Following the events of the Arab Spring in the early 2010s, when many countries “erupted,” it became evident that investments in human capital, from early education to vocational training, rather than merely in infrastructure, create more sustainable outcomes. 

Speaking on a panel at the Human Capability Initiative in Riyadh, the senior adviser affirmed that at the heart of “all this chaos” is a lack of “real development” of the human capabilities in these countries.

Ahmad cited the ongoing war in Gaza, saying: “Look at how many years of developing and financing health and education projects in a place like Gaza, for example, just to see it go down the drain in a few weeks. That how we deal with restoring the capabilities of 2 million people and storing the capabilities of 2 million people. We, as financial institutions, we plan, we implement, and then something like this happens.”

He added: “This is why we need to do education differently. We need to come at the early stages of childhood. We need to have this dialogue instead of monologue. We need to deal with the minorities, people like we were talking about — the refugees. There are 70 million people in the world who are refugees or internally displaced people. How do you deal with their education and we need a holistic approach. It’s not the education only. We need to talk about food security, we need to talk about health and well-being.” 

As the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Hanan Balkhy, declared that in the scenarios outlined by Ahmad of internally displaced populations and geopolitics, retaining the health workforce becomes “very challenging.”

She stressed the need for a “heavy lift” for education within the sector in the region and a shift in mindset that pushes nations toward looking at peace as a worthy investment. 

The director said: “We talk about building for years and destroying within hours. So, if we can preach for peace as much as we can, that’s number one. Number two, we need to be innovative in preparing the youngsters.”

Balkhy highlighted the region’s “very low” focus on public health and how comprehensive strategies are now essential given that infrastructure alone isn’t sufficient to address complex health scenarios. 

“It’s not that tertiary care hospital, it’s not that very well-equipped ICU or operating room. It is how do you give vaccinations for two million people who are actually having babies on a border between two countries? How do you access them,” she posed. 

Echoing the notions introduced by the regional director, the IsDB executive affirmed that whether public health outbreaks or conflicts, there needs to be a significant shift in how “we provide finance” ensuring that investments are used to build in a “real sustainable development way.”

One of the proposed solutions by the panelists was ensuring the ability to retain local talent. 

According to the World Bank, there is $160 billion annually in forgone income within advanced economies, caused by the “brain drain” that is trickling from the developing nations to the developed world. 

Similarly, the WTO outlined that while the African continent carries 24 percent of the world’s disease burden, it has only 2 percent of the global workforce because “all these brains have migrated to the north,” Ahmed noted. 

“We in ISDB provide 18,000 scholarships, some of them came back to their countries but many of them really they stay in the north, and they feel more comfortable. We need to change the policies about scholarships, which makes sure they come back via the attractive environment for them to come back or try to benefit from what they are doing,” he said

“Without doing so, we are basically giving our best and brightest and having a bad investment, very policies, where we finance and we invest in basic education and then we send the best and brightest and we don’t reap the benefits from them in charging the future,” he concluded.


Saudi Arabia’s new visa program part of efforts to boost education sector

Saudi Arabia’s new visa program part of efforts to boost education sector
Updated 29 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s new visa program part of efforts to boost education sector

Saudi Arabia’s new visa program part of efforts to boost education sector

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced a new educational visa program to attract students and academics to the Kingdom to boost its research and educational sectors.

The announcement coincided with the second day of the Human Capability Initiative currently underway in Riyadh during which a top official expressed hope that improving the education system will have a positive impact on the Kingdom’s gross domestic product.

Khaled Al-Sabti, chairman of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, said improved educational performance will have a positive impact on the Kingdom’s economy and that Saudi Arabia is trying to elevate its system of education to match global standards.

“Currently, we are working with the World Bank closely to estimate the potential impact of improving quality of education on the economic growth. The initial findings are very impressive using the Saudi performance on international exams,” he added.

The official said the study estimates that “if we manage to bring the performance to the international level,” it will give a huge boost to GDP growth.

Al-Sabti discussed the significant impact of education on economic prosperity, highlighting findings from empirical research since the late 1960s.

He emphasized that each additional year of schooling contributes positively to economic prosperity, with a consistent monetary return of at least 9 percent, indicating a high return on investment.

“A recent analysis has shown that quality of education is more important than quantity,” Al-Sabti said.

The official continued: “Cognitive skills are more important than education qualification.”

Additionally, he underlined the establishment of an independent organization by the government with a focus on ensuring quality education and training.

“We call it the Education and Training Evaluation Commission. We aspire to build a globally pioneering high-impact Saudi quality model for education and training,” Al-Sabti stated.

Saudi Education Minister Yousef Al-Benyan highlighted the significant transformation of his ministry from a body focused on operational tasks like building schools and maintenance to becoming a regulator and facilitator.

“We focus on students, we focus on curriculum, we focus on schools, and how can we make our teachers skillful enough to meet the future requirements,” he said.

The minister added: “We should add digital skills as it is missing, and we do have at least a lot of reports that indicate there is a long way for us to meet our target.”

He further explained the multifaceted approach taken to enhance the education system. The minister laid emphasis on increasing investment in teachers’ training.

“Two, do we have the right mix in our curriculum that really focuses more on skills and values that are really needed,” Al-Benyan said.

He continued: “Third, we have very clear programs that started a few years back and we are emerging into even better positioning on early childhood (education).”

Qatari Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina Al-Nuaimi underscored the crucial role of education in his country’s national development strategy.

“We focused on re-aligning the curriculum with the continuously evolving demand of the labor market. We’re doing this in partnership with employers because it’s very important to align the personal needs of the learner as well as what the requirements are for the national development,” Al-Nuaimi commented.