Browsing articles in "SA News"

Saudi National Day Celebration 2015 Canberra Australia

Oct 3, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

 

1/10/2015

Saudi Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand H.E Nabil Al Saleh held a reception for the Kingdom’s 85 National Day in Canberra. It was attended by senior political, parliamentary and Australian Foreign Affairs figures and other ambassadors accredited to Australia as well as Saudis living in Australia, heads and representatives of associations and Arab and Islamic centers.

The guests were received by Ambassador Al Saleh, Deputy Ambassador Meshaal Alrougui, cultural attaché Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Taleb and Military attaché Colonel Sami al-Mutairi.

Ambassador Al Saleh outlined in his speech the comprehensive development in the Kingdom, its economic situation and strong leadership internationally, its contribution to global stability and the fight against terrorism. He explained the Kingdom’s humanitarian role and its contribution to international relief work; the kingdom is the sixth largest aid donor in the world with more than $160 billion in humanitarian aid to more than 90 countries.

Ambassador Al Saleh explained that the Kingdom donated more than $ 4 billion to the people of Yemen with more than half a million Yemenis moving to the Kingdom due to recent events. On Syria, Ambassador Al Saleh stressed the Kingdom’s strong support for the Syrian people and noted that they had received Syrians fleeing the civil war and who are now living in the Kingdom, receiving education and medical care, in addition to more than a billion dollars in aid to Syrian refugees camps.

In his speech, Ambassador Al Saleh addressed the comprehensive development renaissance experienced by the Kingdom in different areas, indicating the importance of education as a main pillar of development; he pointed to the more than 250,000 Saudi students in overseas universities, including 13,000 in Australia.

He also announced the opening of the Saudi military attaché in Australia and the appointment of Colonel Sami al-Mutairi as military attaché.

Ambassador Al Saleh honoured outstanding Saudi students who have achieved distinctive scientific work in their studies and research as well as the heads of student clubs in all states by presenting commemorative shields to them.

The winner of the literary competition “together against extremism”, Bader Salem Mohammadi-Harbi, was also honoured also and made an expressive poem.

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NZ Prime Minister Historical Visit to the Kingdom

Jul 3, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

 

 

On the eve of a historic state visit to Saudi Arabia, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has described his trip, the first by any New Zealand head of state, as “well and truly overdue.”

Speaking exclusively to Al Arabiya News, Key – who is currently in Dubai and has inaugurated his country’s new Consulate General – described Saudi Arabia as a “very important country.”

Answering a question regarding the reasons behind New Zealand’s absence from Saudi Arabia in the past, Key said that this was a result of a diplomatic legacy, though noted his previously scheduled trip in 2010 had to be cancelled due to a military plane crash.

“In a lot of ways maybe it’s been that New Zealand had historically focused on more traditional markets and for a very long time, up until pre-1970s, virtually all New Zealand products were sold to the United Kingdom.”

Recently, New Zealand has developed strong trade relations with neighbouring Asia, but the GCC now represents the country’s fifth biggest trade market.

“I think the need for a visit probably wasn’t as big a priority for previous prime ministers as it is for me. We historically wanted to come sometime earlier but it has just taken some time to re-arrange this visit after we had to cancel…so look it’s well and truly overdue but it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity.”

One important item on Key’s agenda was attempting to push through a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Saudis.

“We are trying to complete the Gulf States-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. We’ve really got to the point in 2009 where the deal was largely complete but required ratifications that have taken some time.”

Key said other countries had been in a similar situation, such as Singapore which implemented an agreement last year.

“Our understanding is we’re the next potential country to come out of the blocks and to have a deal completed, so we are hopeful we’ll be able to make some progress on that front.”

New Zealand-Saudi Arabia trade is worth about U.S. $1.2 billion annually, with two-thirds of that being New Zealand imports of chiefly hydrocarbons. Eighty per cent of Saudi Arabia’s imports from New Zealand comprise the country’s well-renowned meat and dairy products.

New Zealand exports to the GCC have grown about 10 per cent year-on-year over the past decade, underscoring the region’s significance to the small Antipodean country of four million.

Among all GCC nations, the Saudi market is of particular significance to New Zealand.

“Saudi is a significant player here in the Gulf, clearly one of the richest of all the nations in the world but also the home of a lot of potentially significant consumers for New Zealand products. We already sell to the wider Gulf region more goods and services than to the United Kingdom, so that gives you a sense of how big the market already is and I think there is a lot more potential.”

Key, who was re-elected in a landslide victory for a third term last year, also promised to spend an increasing amount of time in the region.

“It’s my intention to try and built deeper markets around the Gulf States once the FTA is concluded and that means spending more time in the region… It is quite clear that we haven’t spent enough time in the region and I expect to come back and spend more time here.”

While the talks will seemingly largely be focused on trade, Key has earlier said he would also discuss “the complex security issues facing the Middle East.”

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Saudi Ambassador meets NSW Trade Minister

Jul 3, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Australia and New Zealand His Excellency Nabil Al Saleh met with the Hon. Stuart Laurence Ayres, MP Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, and Minister for Sport  in the state of New South Wales to discuss ways of enhancing economic trade relations between the two countries.

Minister Ayres noted the significant amount of investment opportunities offered by Saudi investors and Australian companies in their respective countries.

Minister Ayres also praised the overall economic renaissance witnessed by the Kingdom in the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, “

The state of New South Wales and its capital, Sydney is one of the largest and most productive Australian states on economic growth and tourism levels. It currently holds approximately 20% of the entire population of Australia at about 4.8 million people.

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AACI Luncheon held in honour of Saudi Ambassador and Saudi Member of Shura Council

Jul 3, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

A Luncheon was hosted at the Four Seasons Sydney for the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia for Australia and New Zealand, H E Nabil Al-Saleh and the  Saudi Member of the Shura  Council, Usamah Al-Kurdi, by the AACCI NSW Chair, Mohamed Hage. He briefly spoke at the event, which spoke about high level engagement opportunities between the two countries. The event was also  attended by the Member of Banks, The Hon David Coleman MP and 24AACCl’s handpicked guest, to ensure a  conversation that was candid and informed.

The Hon Mr Al-Kurdi is the President of Alagat, a business-consulting firm based in Riyadh and a member of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura). He serves as a Board Member of Saudi Arabian Airlines and an Executive Committee member of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce. As part of the Shura Council, he is a Member of the Economic and Energy Affairs Committee and the Chairman of the Saudi-American Friendship Committee.

From 1990-2001, Mr Al-Kurdi served as Secretary General of the Council of Saudi Chambers of  Commerce, as well as Vice President of Saudi Consulting House, a forerunner of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

As Saudi Arabia becomes increasingly influential and accessible, the opportunities for Australian companies to enter the  market are opening up.  Saudi Arabia continues to cement itself as a global and diversified market.

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Investment Opportunities Conference in Toowoomba

Jul 3, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

Saudi Ambassador to Australia Mr. Nabil Al Saleh opened the “Investment Opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, Conference on Thursday June 4, 2015 held in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

The event was organised by Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with  the Toowoomba “Sirat Bison” Business Group. The conference was attended by more than 150 people, including senior businessmen and investors in the oil and mining, agriculture, education, legal, technological and service fields in Australia.

In his speech the Ambassador thanked the organisers for hosting the event and enlightened the atendees as to the current development and expansion of Saudi Arabia and its resources.

“The Kingdom is now the 19th largest economy in the world, the single largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region with a GDP worth 752 billion dollars and representing 25% of the entire MENA economic output.

“It is now recognised as the third fastest economy in the world with an annual average growth of 5 % over the past decade. Only preceded by China and India.

And in recognition of the Kingdom’s growth and stability, Fitch Ratings agency upgraded Saudi Arabia to “AA” demonstrating the Kingdom’s financial stability and high credit quality. Ranking Saudi Arabia 7th within the G20.

“Reflecting on this, it is apparent that over the course of the last eight decades, the Kingdom has modernised at a rapid pace and has succeeded in becoming one of the top-ranking economies in the world within a very short period.”

The Ambassador also discussed with attendees the booming investment opportunities emerging in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We have been blessed by natural resources with proven

¼ of the world’s oil reserve and a current output of just over 10 million barrels per day.

“We have the 4th largest gas reserve in the world. As well as a richness in a wide array of minerals.

“Furthermore, we are committed to increasing our production capacity of Petrochemicals to reach 100 million metric tons per annum by 2015.

“This, in turn, would make the Kingdom the third largest global exporter of petrochemicals.

The Ambassador closed his speech by inviting investors to establish business projects in Saudi Arabia and enlightened them as to the mutual benefits such projects would achieve.

“For a very young country, its transformation has been astonishing. But all of you in this room are an important part of this. You create jobs. You take the risks to create the opportunities and better the future of yourselves and both of our countries.

“With this in mind, and the economic progress achieved in the Kingdom thus far.

“It is worth noting that the Kingdom continues to foster a progressive investment environment.

“Some worth noting elements of our laws include: That Foreign investors can have 100 % ownership of their projects

“We have a robust investment legal system; We have a low cost financing system;

“Foreign investors are eligible to apply for loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund. These are interest- free loans up to 50% of project capital or up to $160 million USD.”

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Ambassador praises visit of Trade Minister to Saudi Arabia

Apr 27, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

The Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Australia, H.E Nabil Bin Mohammad Al Saleh has emphasised the importance of the recent visit of the Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and various other senior Australian businessmen to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Countries.

The Ambassador has stated that this was an excellent opportunity for Australia to build and strengthen extensive trade relations with key partners in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. He also stated that this visit reflected the current strong trade ties between Australia and the Arab world.

During their two day visit to Saudi Arabia the Trade Minister and his delegation met with a large number of senior officials in the Kingdom, including the Minister of Commerce, Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabia, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Dr Mohammed Bin Suleiman Al Jasser, the Minister of Agriculture Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Mohsen Al Fadhli, the Governor of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Abdullatif Bin Ahmed Al Othman, GCC Secretary, Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Hamad Bin Sulaiman Bazei and also the Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr Saleh Bin Hassan Afaleq.

On his part, the Australian Minister of Trade, Andrew Robb, stated that his trip was an important opportunity to extend their trade relations with Saudi Arabia. Minister Robb also emphasised the importance of resuming free trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council States.

Minister Robb also attended a meeting with the Saudi Business Council of Australia held in the Saudi Chambers in Riyadh Council. This meeting was headed by Abdul Latif Bin Misfer Al Zahrani on the Saudi side and Tom Harley on the Australian side. H.E Ambassador Nabil Al Saleh was also in attendance, along with Ambassador of Australia to the Kingdom Ralph King. During this meeting the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly in regards to the fields of economy and investment and ways of enhancing them on both sides.

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Australian Trade Minister visits Saudi Arabia

Apr 27, 2015   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has visited the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to promote commercial opportunities for Australia business in two of the region’s leading markets. The trip took place over three days.

During the trip. Mr Robb participated in Austrade’s annual regional promotion Australia Unlimited Gulf, which showcased Australian capabilities in education, agriculture and food, resource and water management, urban development, rail, sports and tourism.

“There is a strong fit between demand in the Gulf and Australia’s strengths. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are investing in infrastructure and restructuring their economies; creating opportunities in sectors where Australia has a proven track record,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb also met with senior Ministers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to advocate for a resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Prior to his trip, Minister Robb stated that “I will use my visit to set out the Australian Government’s trade and investment agenda. To emphasis that Australia is open for business and that we are committed to deepening our economic engagement with region,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb also met with some of the region’s most important investment funds. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have large sovereign wealth funds with total assets of US$1.7 trillion and are looking to make new international investments into food security, agriculture and infrastructure projects.

In Riyadh, Mr Robb also meet with the more than 20 Australian Universities and education providers attending the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education and promote Australia as an education destination.

“Gulf countries face challenges in providing education and skills development for their growing and youthful populations. Australia offers world-class opportunities for international education, as well as education and training services delivered in-market,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb noted the growth in aviation links between Australia and the Gulf–with more than 140 flights a week – will deepen business links and facilitate growth in the number of tourists from the region.

Mr Robb also opened the Council for Australian Arab Relations’ ‘Food Water Energy Nexus’ policy seminars in both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, which brought together various experts to discuss issues which are both challenges to Australia and the region.

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Crown Prince Salman Message of Thanks to Prime Minister of Australia

Nov 27, 2014   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sent a thanking cable to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Abbott to mark the end of the state visit the Crown Prince has made to Australia.

In his cable, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said: “Following my visit to your friendly country for leading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the G20 Summit on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, I expressed sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to me and the accompanying delegation.”

“I laud the positive outcomes of the G20 Summit which will have a significant impact on the closer cooperation among G20 members in all fields in order to achieve development and prosperity of the international community,” Crown Prince Salman added.

In conclusion, the Crown Prince wished the Australian Prime Minister continuous health and happiness and the Australian people steady progress and prosperity.

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Saudi Ambassador thanks Crown Prince for joining students to Saudi Scholarships

Nov 16, 2014   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

Canberra, November 16, 2014, SPA

Saudi Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Nabil bin Mohammed Al Saleh has expressed in his name and on behalf of Saudi students on scholarships in Australia his deepest thanks and appreciation to Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense for his directives that 370 Saudi male and female students studying at their own expenses in Australia shall join Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Foreign Scholarship.
He thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince for their continuing support for the program to achieve its objectives to prepare a generation contributing to the march of overall development and renaissance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all fields.

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Saudi journalists tour media center for G20 Summit in Australia

Nov 15, 2014   //   by admin   //   English, SA News  //  No Comments

The Saudi media delegation participating in coverage of the activities of the G20 summit which will be held on 15 and 16 November toured the international media center of the summit in the city of Brisbane.

The delegation included the President of Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein, various newspaper editors, writers, radio and television producers and also a delegation from the Saudi Press Agency. The media delegation is participating in the coverage of the summit.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Ministry of Culture and Information has a special pavilion within the centre providing materials on the Kingdom’s progress and relations with Australia.

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