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.

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.