One-belt, one-road strategy adds mileage to historic relationship

One-belt, one-road strategy adds mileage to historic relationship
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One-belt, one-road strategy adds mileage to historic relationship
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Updated 19 January 2016

One-belt, one-road strategy adds mileage to historic relationship

One-belt, one-road strategy adds mileage to historic relationship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has emerged as China’s biggest economic partner in the region with the bilateral trade standing at $70 billion annually. The one-belt, one-road strategy could add new mileage to their relations.

In 2014, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman visited China when he was then the crown prince for a four-day visit to further cement the strategic historic relationship between the two countries.
Thanks to the strategic proposal of Chinese president Xi Jinping to establish a “1+2+3”cooperation pattern under the Belt and Road framework, which takes energy cooperation as one core, infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as two wings, and sets to make breakthroughs in three high and new tech fields, including nuclear energy, aerospace and new energy.
Saudi Arabia, located at the key juncture point of the Belt and Road, is the leader of regional development. It is also one of the most significant partners in the construction of the Belt and Road.
According to Chinese Ambassador Li Chengwen, China is counting on the pivotal role of the Kingdom in taking the relations forward to the next level to strengthen peace and cooperation through the Silk Road. When completed, it could act as a major intercontinental trade route linking Asia, Europe and Africa.
In a related development, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) opened a branch in Riyadh, becoming the first Chinese bank to establish its presence within the framework of China’s international diplomacy. It will provide funding to investors, both Chinese and Saudis, who wish to launch projects in the Kingdom.
As Ambassador Chengwen points out, China is currently one of the fastest growing economies by diversifying its economy through infrastructure, which will lead to job creation. Within the framework of this macro approach, Ambassador Li Chengwen held a high-profile meeting with Saudi and Chinese entrepreneurs in the Kingdom.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and the Chinese side signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the protection of the Saudi consumer. Its aim is to check the entry of counterfeit goods and safeguard the interest of the business community on both sides.
Later, addressing the entrepreneurs, Chengwen said: “You have to work hard. Our businesses can develop only on the basis of mutual respect and innovation thanks to the rapidly growing relationship and mutual confidence.” And to underline his firm commitment to the deal, Chengwen said those found guilty of violating the accord “will be blacklisted.”
As for the one belt and road policy, he said it will help the Kingdom and the region as well as China to accelerate the pace of development and make their economies sustainable.
He added: “Last year also marked the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between China and the Kingdom. In the past 25 years … the two nations have become strategic partners and have achieved fruitful results of cooperation in various fields.
“Mutual respect is a major premise of Sino-Saudi relations. Despite different national conditions, China and the Kingdom adhere to the principle of mutual respect and equality. We respect for each other’s cultural traditions, social systems and core interests and concerns,” Chengwen added.
He said: “Representing Chinese civilization and the Islamic civilization separately, we both advocate respect, harmony and dialogue among civilizations. The friendly relationship between China and the Kingdom becomes a model of accommodation between different civilizations. Mutual respect and tolerance between China and the Kingdom guarantees the right direction of Sino-Saudi relations.”
The ambassador said China is counting on the pivotal role of the Kingdom in lending a new momentum to the initiative of peace, cooperation, tolerance and mutual learning to revive the Silk Road, one of the most important trade crossings in the continents of the ancient world, Asia, Europe and Africa.
“China is working to establish the free trade area of the Asia-Pacific in the current year. Approval of APEC members in the roadmap represents a historic step for the official launch of this process and emphasizes the APEC confidence and determination to push forward regional economic integration,” Chengwen added.
On Chinese-Arab level, he said that in building a belt and the road they will make the Arab states led by Saudi Arabia the focal point in this great road linking the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
On the Group of 20 nations summit (G-20) in Australia, the ambassador stressed that the Kingdom is the only Arab country in the G-20, which has an important place in the global economic structure and energy.
In this context, CRCC Saudi Branch is implementing five projects in Saudi Arabia, including Riviera-1 Compound Alkhobar project.
They include development of the Ministry of Interior's Security Headquarters (phase five); renovation of 78.4 km railway line number two between Dammam and Riyadh; expansion of Dhahran Residential Community – 240 residential villas (package number four), Dhahran Camp, and renewal of 91 km of mainline number two between Dammam and Riyadh, with a contract value totaling $ 3 billion.
As cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia deepens, CRCC sees more opportunities to get involved in various infrastructure projects here. It is contributing to the Kingdom’s prosperity, enhancing bilateral economic cooperation by building a bridge along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road for the realization of the China Dream and the Global Dream.


Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes
According to ADAA, Saudi Arabia ranked among the top countries in three international indexes, among the world’s eight top countries in two indexes and among the 20 top countries in two others. (Shutterstock)
Updated 31 min 47 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes
  • ADAA follows up on the Kingdom’s progress and performance through the International Performance Hub, which compares the Kingdom’s performance against 217 other countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has placed it at the highest ranks on several international indexes according to the National Center for Performance Measurement (ADAA) for the years 2020-2021.
According to ADAA, Saudi Arabia ranked among the top countries in three international indexes, among the world’s eight top countries in two indexes and among the 20 top countries in two others.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Kingdom ranked first worldwide in the response of entrepreneurs and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two indexes measured the levels of entrepreneurial motivation as Vision 2030 provided an ideal and flexible business environment able to withstand challenges such as the pandemic.

SPEEDREAD

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Kingdom ranked first worldwide in the response of entrepreneurs and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kingdom has maintained its advanced position in the “food standards” indicator, where it was ranked first in 2020. This indicator is considered one of the sub-components of the “food security” index, released annually by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to measure food security in countries based on four indicators: Food affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience.
“The pandemic has forced many in the food industry to rethink our strategies and elevate our standards, providing the best food quality and services for our customers,” Mohammed Saleh, a restaurant owner based in Riyadh and Jeddah, told Arab News. “Our customers always come first and the quality of food was always a top priority but now with the extra care and precautions, customer satisfaction and safety is even more important.”
“Many restaurant owners I know have put into consideration all the changes that needed to be made to ensure that both quality and safety go hand in hand,” Saleh added. “We’ll only go forward from here.”
During the peak of the pandemic, the Kingdom jumped to eighth position among 113 countries in “the national food supply sufficiency” indicator and came ahead of 105 countries in growth of production of cereals and vegetables, climbing nine spots in the indicator in comparison to 2019. In the post-harvest and pre-consumption crops’ safety indicator, the Kingdom made significant progress, ranked among the 20 top countries worldwide.
The Kingdom has also come a long way in most of the indicators of the soft power index, measured based on three key performance indicators (KPIs): Reputation, familiarity and influence, where it ranked 20th and came ahead of 85 countries in its response to the pandemic, according to the Brand Finance report.
ADAA follows up on the Kingdom’s progress and performance through the International Performance Hub, which compares the Kingdom’s performance against 217 other countries. ADAA monitors and follows up on international indicators while the hub provides an overview of the Kingdom’s performance in 700 KPIs under 12 main pillars.


Saudi aviation authority links boarding passes with health app

Saudi aviation authority links boarding passes with health app
The boarding passes are issued electronically to passengers whose status in the app is “immune,” “immune by first dose,” “immune by recovery” or “no record of infection”
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi aviation authority links boarding passes with health app

Saudi aviation authority links boarding passes with health app
  • Tawakkalna was launched last year to help track COVID-19 infections

RIYADH: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced the completion of linking the issuance of boarding passes for domestic flights for all national airlines with the health status in the Tawakkalna app.
The boarding passes are issued electronically to passengers whose status in the app is “immune,” “immune by first dose,” “immune by recovery” or “no record of infection.”
The initiative is the result of cooperation with government agencies — namely the Presidency of State Security, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, and the Health Ministry — and with national airlines.
Tawakkalna was launched last year to help track COVID-19 infections. It has since been updated to include vaccination information and infection status reports. It also functions as a COVID-19 “passport.”
Earlier, GACA said that all foreign travelers and their companions traveling to the Kingdom must complete registration for their COVID-19 immunization data before departure. The registration is applicable to all citizens from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, holders of new visas, residents, and their companions, both inoculated and non-vaccinated.

 


Royal Saudi Land Forces continue ‘Falcon Claws 4’ exercise with US forces

Royal Saudi Land Forces continue ‘Falcon Claws 4’ exercise with US forces
Updated 21 June 2021

Royal Saudi Land Forces continue ‘Falcon Claws 4’ exercise with US forces

Royal Saudi Land Forces continue ‘Falcon Claws 4’ exercise with US forces
  • The exercise began last week in the Kingdom’s northwestern region

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Land Forces continued a joint exercise with counterparts from the US Forces, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.
The “Falcon Claws 4” exercise began last week in the Kingdom’s northwestern region.

“This exercise comes as an extension of the joint exercises between the two friendly countries, with the aim of training in command and control operations, indirect shooting training, offensive combat transport, explosives disposal, and improving the compatibility between the military equipment of the two sides,” the ministry said.


Mohammed bin Dayel appointed CEO of Saudi Cultural Development Fund

Mohammed bin Dayel appointed CEO of Saudi Cultural Development Fund
Updated 21 June 2021

Mohammed bin Dayel appointed CEO of Saudi Cultural Development Fund

Mohammed bin Dayel appointed CEO of Saudi Cultural Development Fund
  • Bin Dayel comes to the position with nearly 20 years of leadership and practical experience in the investment sector
  • The fund specializes in supporting projects of private-sector enterprises, NGOs and associations working in the cultural sectors

RIYADH: Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Dayel has been appointed as the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Development Fund.
The fund specializes in supporting projects of private-sector enterprises, NGOs and associations working in the cultural sectors and their supporting fields.
The decision to appoint Bin Dayel was issued by the fund’s board of directors, headed by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan.
Bin Dayel comes to the position with nearly 20 years of leadership and practical experience in the investment sector.
Throughout his career, he has held many leadership positions, the last of which was executive director of investment operations at Raidah Investment Company. He also worked in the treasury department at Saudi Aramco, in addition to his membership of Alinma Bank’s board of directors.
Bin Dayel’s appointment comes within the fund’s plans to attract national talent, and to ensure the implementation of its development plans that support investment in cultural sectors by providing programs to develop the cultural scene with the support of the Quality of Life Program, one of the initiatives to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Bin Dayel holds a master’s degree in business administration from the American University in Washington and a bachelor’s degree in finance from George Washington University, and has a number of qualifications in treasury and investment management.


Saudi Arabia could consider mix-match second doses of coronavirus vaccine

Saudi Arabia could consider mix-match second doses of coronavirus vaccine
More than 47.7 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population have received at least one dose. (AP)
Updated 20 June 2021

Saudi Arabia could consider mix-match second doses of coronavirus vaccine

Saudi Arabia could consider mix-match second doses of coronavirus vaccine
  • Many of Saudi Arabia’s regions have shown signs of stability and decline in cases

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia could consider administering second doses from other vaccine manufacturers as soon as they are accredited in the Kingdom according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesman.
At Sunday’s press conference, MoH spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said that studies conducted in several countries have shown positive results, with more countries now applying the mix-match vaccine doses, including the US, Canada, Britain, the UAE and more.
Refuting claims about the depletion of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the Kingdom, Al-Aly reassured the public that the vaccine is still available and is being administered. More than 16.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom so far, at a rate of 107,857 doses per day. More than 47.7 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population have received at least one dose.
The Kingdom reported 1,079 new cases, bringing the number of active cases in the country to 10,896, a decline of 149 cases in the past 24 hours.
“The rate at which the curve is going in the past few weeks have shown positive signs of stability,” said the MoH spokesman, adding: “Many of the Kingdom’s regions have shown signs of stability and decline in cases. We continue to encourage everyone to register for the vaccine as both vaccines and precautionary measures will help in overcoming this pandemic.”

FASTFACTS

474,191 Total cases

455,618 Recoveries

Most cases were registered in the Makkah region with 320, there were 216 cases in Riyadh and 206 cases in the Eastern Province. All other regions reported new case totals below 100, the Northern Borders reported six cases while Jouf reported only four.
The reports brought the total number of cases to 474,191 since the start of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Kingdom.
There were 1,214 new recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Most recoveries were registered in Jeddah with 187, Makkah followed with 150 and in Riyadh there were 138 recoveries. This has brought the total number of recoveries to 455,618. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is holding steady at 96 percent.
There were 20 new critical cases, bringing the total number of critical patients to 1,516. Fourteen people died in the last 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 7,677. Some 84,652 PCR tests have been conducted via numerous testing hubs across the country.