Fusing Vision 2030 with Belt Road Initiative

Updated 03 September 2016

Fusing Vision 2030 with Belt Road Initiative

BEIJING: A panel discussion entitled “Saudi Vision 2030 and the Belt Road Initiative: Together for a Promising Future” was held in Beijing during the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi, Telecommunications and IT Minister Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, Culture and Information Minister Adel Al-Toraifi and Yasir Al-Rumayan, managing director of the Public Investment Fund, participated in the panel discussion.
At the beginning of the discussion, Al-Qassabi highlighted available investment opportunities for Chinese companies in the Kingdom.
He noted that the Kingdom’s natural resources as well as its geographical location plus Chinese economic power provided great economic and investment opportunities for Chinese companies.
Al-Suwaiyel spoke of the Kingdom’s great progress in the field of communications and information technology.
“The overall effectiveness of the Kingdom’s sector for communications and information technology depends on four key players — the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, the companies carrying out the work and the Saudi Post,” he said.
He noted that youth represented 60 percent of the Saudi population. He said that Saudis working in the sector were 20 percent with the remaining 80 percent being non-Saudis.
Al-Suwaiyel stressed that the ministry had held meetings with regional and international companies, including a Chinese company, for the purpose of training Saudi youth in the field of communications and information technology.
Al-Toraifi lauded the keenness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in supporting and improving bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and China in all fields. He pointed out the great respect King Salman had for the Chinese people and their rich culture.
“I’m glad to be on this panel, and I have the highest respect for the Chinese people. We know that China is a land of wisdom, and have had the opportunity to visit the Chinese Museum and be briefed on various aspects of China’s ancient culture and heritage,” Al-Toraifi said.
“In my capacity as the minister of culture and information, I also serve as a member of the Council of Political and Security Affairs. In addition, I am a member of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and thus, I have experience in the security and political spheres as well as on the cultural side,” he said.
“I learned a great deal from King Salman who devotes much of his time to reading. This has pushed me to follow his example. I remember that the king is known in the Arab world as a friend of journalists. I remembered this because I know the large number of books on China that he has read. He has the greatest respect for the Chinese people and their ancient culture.”
Al-Toraifi pointed out that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif had directed the ministers and the delegation to introduce Saudi Vision 2030 to the Chinese people by fully exploiting the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the People’s Republic of China.
He pointed out that the ministers accompanying the deputy crown prince sought to introduce the vision in the most advantageous way for the Chinese and in attempting to do so, they concluded that economy, politics, charity and development should all be linked together.
He highlighted the favorable outcomes of the deputy crown prince’s visit to China through meetings with Chinese officials and the signing of agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries in all fields.
He considered the Belt Road Initiative one of the main pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 which would seek to make China among the Kingdom’s biggest economic partners.
Al-Toraifi stressed his personal keenness on improving cultural exchanges between Saudi Arabia and China in order to achieve greater convergence between the two friendly peoples.
He added that there were efforts being made to present Chinese culture to Saudi society and Saudi culture to Chinese society.
“With this aim, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) launched a Chinese-language website six months ago. One of the things that we have done during this visit is to hold meetings with Chinese officials and sign memorandums of understanding with them. Our goal is to bring the Saudi and Chinese peoples closer and to increase tourism between the two countries,” he said.
Regarding the Kingdom’s foreign investments, Al-Rumayan of the Public Investment Fund stressed that there had been many discussions of investment opportunities with Chinese companies in the fields of infrastructure, construction, advanced technology and others.
He mentioned that there were great investment opportunities for Chinese companies in the Kingdom, and he pointed out that there are multi-partnerships among Saudi and Chinese companies as well as joint investment on the international level.
Al-Falih spoke of the importance of the visit paid by the deputy crown prince to China. He lauded Saudi-Chinese strategic relations, particularly in the field of energy.
He added that Saudi Arabia and China had signed a number of agreements pertaining to energy. He said connections between the two countries provided more investment opportunities and he specifically mentioned the possibilities that are a part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
He pointed out a number of investment opportunities in the fields of infrastructure, industries, technology and other development.


Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 17 min ago

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Visitors are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them

ALULA: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has made her Saudi Arabian debut with one of her mirrored “infinity rooms” available to visit at AlUla’s Maraya Concert Hall.

The installation at AlUla, titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — Brilliance of the Souls,” is deceptively small at first. A totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on, observers are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them.
Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. The viewer is insulated from the outside world, and the space transforms from a confined room barely big enough for two people to an unending wonder.
The exhibit makes for a perfect place to take an ethereal, otherworldly selfie, as demonstrated by many of its visitors, such as Finnish resident Laura Alho, known online as “blueabaya.” Alho took to Twitter to post photos of her experience, saying she had “never seen anything like it.”
The concert hall itself is also covered in mirrors on the outside, designed with the intention of blending into the surrounding rocky landscape of AlUla without disrupting the natural beauty of the location.
Kusama, a 90-year-old artist from Matsumoto, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important contemporary Japanese creatives. Though she works primarily through sculpture and installation, she also paints, contributes to film and performance art, and dabbles in poetry, fiction, and fashion. She is famous for her conceptual art, which shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism.

HIGHLIGHT

The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is deceptively small at first. It is a totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on.

At the age of 10, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which consisted of dense fields of dots, which inspired the Infinity Mirrored Rooms that she is most well-known for. As a way of therapy and self-expression, Kusama began creating these spaces with mirrored walls and multiple dots incorporated into the designs.
Kusama’s work is showcased at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. There are 10 permanent Infinity Mirrored Rooms in museums worldwide, with several temporary showcases leased to various others. People have reportedly lined up for as long as five hours just to be allowed inside one for 30 seconds.
Interested parties can visit the Infinity Mirrored Room as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, taking place in AlUla until March 20. Access to the room is free to concertgoers with a ticket, details of which can be found at experiencealula.com