Saudi oil – Atlanti Gaz Mon, 26 Sep 2022 23:35:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Saudi oil – Atlanti Gaz 32 32 Power cuts in Sri Lanka blamed on bad oil Mon, 26 Sep 2022 19:19:48 +0000

COLOMBO — A senior Sri Lankan official has blamed imports of poor-quality crude oil for shutting down a power station, leading to prolonged outages.

The head of the utilities regulator, Janaka Ratnayake, said the oil burned in the furnaces contained too much sulphur.

But the country’s energy minister disputed the claim.

Last week, Sri Lanka increased its daily power cut from 80 minutes to 140 minutes due to a drop in power generation capacity.

“The sulfur content is too high in fuel oil [fuel oil] which is not suitable for today’s power stations nor does it meet environmental standards,” Ratnayake, the head of the Public Utilities Commission, told the BBC.

“If you buy good quality crude oil for refineries, this problem will not occur.”

Ratnayake said about 10% of the country’s electricity comes from diesel and oil-fired power plants. The rest of the electricity is generated from hydroelectric, renewable and coal-fired plants.

But Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara defended the crude oil import policy.

In a tweet, he said Sri Lanka’s state-run fuel retailer Ceylon Petroleum Corporation would legally respond to Ratnayake’s allegations.

According to Wijesekara, the power cut was extended due to a breakdown in one of the hydroelectric plants and insufficient funds for diesel and fuel oil.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The South Asian nation is facing its worst financial crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. It is struggling to find enough dollars to import fuel and food.

The shortages have led to months of anti-government protests and long lines outside gas stations.

In July, the unrest came to a head when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to flee the country and then resign after thousands of protesters stormed his official residence.

Veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe was later elected president by MPs.

Since then, the government has implemented a fuel rationing system using a QR code that has reduced queues outside gas stations.

Sri Lanka has reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $2.9bn (£2.7bn) emergency loan and expects the deal to be approved by the board of the IMF by the end of this year.

But the conditions include Colombo reaching an agreement with its creditors on debt restructuring. Sri Lanka has an external debt of around $50 billion. —BBC

]]> Energy issues trump human rights as Scholz visits Saudi Arabia | Business | Economic and financial news from a German perspective | DW Sat, 24 Sep 2022 17:44:55 +0000

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has become a bit of an outcast in the West after the 2018 assassination of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Four years later, the world has changed. US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Saudi leader this year as rising oil prices and the energy crisis in Europe put western economies in trouble.

Now it’s German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s turn to woo MBS. He is due to meet the crown prince in Riyadh on Saturday during a two-day visit to the Gulf. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar are the other two stops.

While many German politicians and rights groups will publicly pressure Scholz to improve Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Eckhart Woertz, director of the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies, told DW the chancellor had to follow a narrow path.

“Priorities have changed”

“There is certainly less of a tendency to raise human rights when dealing with energy exporters in the Gulf at the moment. Priorities have changed as a result of the war in Ukraine. I don’t think that they will be overloaded, let’s put it that way.”

Rights groups accuse Riyadh of continuing to stifle political opposition and media freedom. Amnesty International says Saudi courts still use the death penalty “widely” and that migrant workers are still vulnerable to abuse and exploitation through a system where every person must be sponsored by a Saudi national.

Berlin didn’t say much to preview the Gulf trip. However, long-term deals have reportedly been struck with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to boost liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe to eventually replace Russian supplies. It is unclear, however, whether a similar deal with the Saudis is even possible.

“Saudi Arabia produces a lot of natural gas, but it needs it for its national industrialization,” Woertz told DW.

The kingdom has the eighth largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world after Russia, Iran and Qatar. It is already the ninth-largest gas producer in the world, but its national economy requires huge amounts of gas for power generation, water desalination and industrial production.

Saudi Arabia’s imports from Germany have declined over the past decade

The Saudis want to double their gas production

Riyadh, however, has set itself the goal of doubling gas production by 2030 to enable it to become a gas exporter and could, in theory, provide a vital interim resource to help the EU achieve its net zero goals. for carbon emissions.

Another possible collaboration with the Saudis could be on green hydrogen, which Germany sees as essential to keep its industrial economy running at full strength during the energy transition. Berlin has already signed cooperation agreements with Denmark and Canada.

Hydrogen is said to be green when the gas is produced from renewable energies. In the case of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has almost endless desert space for huge solar farms, but transport to Europe could be a problem due to the distance.

“German technology assistance [around green hydrogen] could be very useful to the Saudis,” Woertz told DW.

The ban by Western countries on Russian oil following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine means that Europe is likely to become more dependent on Saudi oil. The EU ban comes into full effect in early 2023.

“Russia is now selling its oil to India and China at a discount, crowding out Gulf exporters who have mainly delivered to these markets. And these Gulf countries will most likely deliver more to Europe. so a bit of a merry-go-round,” Woertz said.

German exports need a boost

The drop in German exports to Saudi Arabia is another reason why human rights concerns may take a back seat. The Kingdom is by far the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but was only Germany’s 38th largest export market in 2021.

German exports to Saudi Arabia almost halved between 2015 and 2021, from 9.9 billion euros to 5.5 billion euros and are expected to fall further this year, according to the state trade agency GTAI. While the Gulf region still has an insatiable appetite for German industrial machinery, Europe’s largest economy faces fierce competition from China.

German automakers are also keen to grab a bigger share of the car market as the transition to electromobility gathers pace. The Saudi market is dominated by Japanese and Korean brands Toyota and Hyundai, which hold 30% and 20% shares respectively and are also advanced in the development of electric vehicles.

German sales of vehicles and parts to Saudi Arabia totaled 1.6 billion euros in 2015, but fell to 0.9 billion euros last year, while Chinese companies doubled their shares over the past decade, GTAI recently wrote.

German multinationals could contribute to the kingdom’s ambitious goal of diversifying the economy away from fossil fuels, which currently make up 42% of gross domestic product. Six years ago, the government announced Vision 2030, whose ambitions include eight mega-projects, including a plan to build a net-zero tourism and commercial mega zone on the shores of the Red Sea named Neom.

The end of the war in Yemen could lead to the resumption of arms sales

Scholz will be accompanied by a trade delegation for his trip to the Gulf which may well include representatives of arms manufacturers. German arms sales to Saudi Arabia were negligible last year, peaking at 1.24 billion euros in 2012.

Germany banned arms sales to Riyadh in 2018, as part of Berlin’s policy not to export weapons to active conflict zones. Saudi Arabia leads an alliance in neighboring Yemen that has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels alongside the government since late 2014.

With the war possibly nearing its end, German arms makers will want to boost exports with the world’s second-largest arms importer (2017-2021) – behind only India, according to the SIPRI peace. Germany is the world’s fifth largest arms exporter.

Edited by: Uwe Hessler

While You’re Here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what’s happening in German politics and society. You can sign up for the weekly Berlin Briefing email newsletter here.

Saudi lobbyist, Republican fundraiser Thu, 22 Sep 2022 19:05:00 +0000

Last year, the former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, one of the Republican Party’s greatest fundraisers, had a request for 30 Republican congressional staffers. Coleman had helped many of their bosses’ campaigns in his role at the top of an organization that has raised and spent over $165 million in the 2020 election cycle.

“At this time,” Coleman wrote, “the Kingdom would appreciate if your congressman would publicly salute this step and call out the Houthis for their continued obstruction of the political process.” He was promoting a Saudi ceasefire initiative in Yemen that the Houthi rebels ultimately rejected. The rebels demanded that such a deal would force the Saudis to completely lift the blockade of Yemen, which had killed more than 370,000 people.

His request — “on behalf of the Saudi Embassy” — was not an isolated request. Coleman wrote more than 1,000 emails to House and Senate staffers in 2021 and 2022 as part of his paid work for Saudi Arabia. Coleman and several of his law firm colleagues are registered as Foreign Agents of the Kingdom. Emails, as well as details of Saudi Arabia’s $175,000-a-month contract with Hogan Lovells, the law firm, are all contained in documents submitted to the Justice Department. The contract is part of the Saudi government’s robust lobbying operation that saw the kingdom spend $21 million last year to gain influence in Washington, public documents show.

Coleman enjoys a unique position of influence over congressional Republicans. He helped found the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, where he serves as chairman of the board, according to a current biography on his law firm profile. Coleman is also president of the American Action Network, a tax-exempt “welfare group” — an IRS designation that allows for political advocacy and requires no funding disclosure. In other words, it’s a bunch of black money.

In addition to sharing offices and staff, American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund have close financial ties. AAN, an IRS-designated 501(c)(4) group, has described CLF as its “super PAC sister” in promotional materials. The arrangement – ​​a pipeline of black money to the PAC – is common, allowing the tax-exempt group to funnel black money into explicitly political PAC coffers.

AAN contributed approximately $30 million of CLF’s $165 million war chest during the 2020 cycle. This pattern repeated election cycle after election cycle. Since 2011, more than $94 million in AAN dark money – overseen by a registered agent for Saudi Arabia – has flowed into the CLF’s coffers and from there into advertisements and other candidate support Republicans in Congress.

An AAN spokesperson said its fundraising was entirely national. “Unequivocally, we have never solicited or accepted foreign funds,” said Calvin Moore, the spokesperson. “I will also add that Senator Coleman is a valued member of our board of directors but is not involved in fundraising for the organization.” (Coleman, Hogan Lovells and CLF did not respond to requests for comment.)

“The fact that you have a foreign agent for Saudi Arabia involved in groups influencing US elections is just a step up from those more direct roles that are explicitly prohibited.”

A campaign finance transparency expert was troubled by the movement of funds from a black money group to a super PAC. “This black money exchange is a long-standing thing,” said Anna Massoglia, editorial and investigative manager at OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics.

Massoglia noted that foreigners are not allowed to interfere in elections or donate directly to campaigns, and said: “The fact that you have a foreign agent for Saudi Arabia involved in groups influencing the American elections is only one step away from these more direct roles which are explicitly prohibited.

As Coleman worked lucrative lobbying contracts for Riyadh, AAN produced favorable messages about Saudi Arabia. The group, and its related American action forum, where Coleman is listing as “advice”, praised Saudi Arabia. In a 2015 blog post on the AAN website, under the banner “Standard noteColeman promoted Saudi Arabia, alongside China and Indonesia, as models of “moderate Islam” and enemies of the Islamic State. And a 2016 article on the AAF website praised the economic reforms proposed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “A reformed Saudi economy could be good for oil markets” declared the title.

Coleman’s dual role as chairman of an organization that funds campaign ads and a lobbyist puts him in an influential position. Many Congressional Republicans, especially those in close races, were aided in their elections by the CLF and then directly solicited by Coleman on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Although there is no evidence that Saudi money – or any other foreign money – has been funneled through AAN and CLF in ads supporting Republican candidates, GOP members of the House and Senate are forming coherent voting blocs in favor of Saudi interests.

Last September, the House voted an amendment presented by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, calling on the United States to end virtually all aid to the Saudi war in Yemen. Only 11 House Republicans voted for of the amendment and 196 opposed it.

A similar amendment the same month, introduced by Rep. Gregory Meeks, DN.Y., included slightly softer language, calling for a suspension of support for Saudi Air Force units involved in airstrikes against Yemeni civilians, but with several major exceptions. On the Republican side, only 7 deputies in the Chamber vote for the amendment and 203 opposed it.

And a vote in the senate in December on a resolution introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., declaring toothless “congressional disapproval” of arms sales to Saudi Arabia saw only two “yes” votes from Republicans, the Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Paul himself.

Coleman and his employer, Hogan Lovells, are explicit about their role in helping to generate congressional support for Saudi Arabia’s interests.

Coleman and other Hogan Lovells employees working on the Saudi account engage in “specific advocacy assignments with U.S. government officials, members of Congress and their staffs, representatives of media organizations and /or others involved in legislation, regulation, public or public policy”. business matters, and/or in other activities of interest to the foreign principal,” reads a March Disclosure by Hogan Lovells at the Department of Justice.

Coleman is even clearer about his own role and opinions in interviews, including two following the murder of Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate. Days after the murder, Coleman was one of the few American public figures willing to go on cable news to defend Saudi Arabia.

In an interview on CNN, he was asked if he would continue to work for Saudi Arabia. When pressed, Coleman replied, “Let’s make sure we don’t undermine a strategic relationship that’s important to the security of the United States.” In November 2018, a month after the murder, Coleman, faced with pointed questions from a local CBS reporter, said he did not advise Saudi officials but instead worked with members of Congress to ensure that Saudi interests were considered, specifically citing Saudi interest in containing Iran’s influence.

Others see Coleman’s role as far more problematic.

“The infiltration of Saudi money and influence into our government via lobbyists like Norm Coleman is not only outrageous and shameful.”

“The infiltration of Saudi money and influence into our government via lobbyists like Norm Coleman is not only outrageous and shameful; it is downright dangerous to our national security and the survival of our democracy,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, a group founded by Khashoggi to champion democracy, human rights and Right wing state. “Coleman is a Saudi government agent, representing the interests of the Saudi government, as he literally directs the money to select Republican candidates. This should bother every American, Republican or Democrat.

Other officials may not be able to follow Coleman’s own path from Congress to foreign agent. A bipartisan group of House members introduced new legislation, “Foreign Influence Control Act.”

The law would impose a lifetime ban on senior officers, presidents, vice presidents, senior executives and members of Congress from lobbying for a foreign principal.

So far, Growing awareness on the role of foreign governments and their agents in the United States appear to have had little impact on Coleman’s dual role as Saudi foreign agent and Republican fundraiser. The Congressional Leadership Fund is already well into another election cycle, having raised more than $171 million to support Republican candidates as of November’s midterms. More than $33 million of that amount came from 23 deals of the black money group chaired by Coleman, the American Action Network. The origin of these funds remains a mystery.

Vallourec has signed a 10-year agreement with Saudi Aramco to Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:10:05 +0000

Vallourec has signed a 10-year agreement with Saudi Arabia
for the supply of Premium Housings and Services

Meudon (France), 20 September 2022 – Vallourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, signed a 10-year agreement with Saudi Aramco for the supply of Premium Casing and Services. The associated controls will be manufactured and delivered by the Vallourec plant in Saudi Arabia. The agreement strengthens the existing relationship between the Group and the Saudi national company.

This agreement will cover part of Saudi Aramco’s needs for Premium OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) solutions for its drilling operations. It includes the provision of Premium Casing as well as inventory management services.

As part of the iktva (Inot-Kindom Jtotal Vvalue Anot a word) launched by Saudi Aramco, Vallourec has presented a global plan which contributes significantly to the development of local production in Saudi Arabia over the long term.

This contract is on call, placed quarterly for the duration of the agreement. The first two on-call orders have already been received, for delivery scheduled for early 2023.

This agreement represents a key achievement for Vallourec in Saudi Arabia. It paves the way for a common roadmap focused on innovation, services and energy transition. It offers Vallourec Saudi Arabia solid prospects for its presence in the region.

This first longThe term agreement is a strong recognition by Saudi Aramco that Vallourec is a long-term strategic partner for the years to come. This is an important step in Vallourec’s long history with Saudi Aramco, paving the way for an extended collaboration with clear opportunities to introduce our wide range of innovative solutions while strengthening our presence in the Kingdom.. I would like thank Saudi Aramco for its trustdeclared Philippe Guillemot, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

About Vallourec

Vallourec is a world leader in premium tubular solutions for the energy markets and for demanding industrial applications such as oil and gas wells in harsh environments, next-generation power plants, demanding architectural projects and equipment high performance mechanics. Vallourec’s pioneering spirit and cutting-edge R&D are opening up new technological frontiers. With nearly 17,000 dedicated and passionate employees in more than 20 countries, Vallourec works hand in hand with its customers to offer more than tubes: Vallourec offers innovative, safe, competitive and intelligent tubular solutions to make every project possible.

Listed on Euronext in Paris (ISIN code: FR0013506730, Ticker VK), Vallourec is part of the CAC Mid 60, SBF 120 and Next 150 indices and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service.

In the United States, Vallourec has set up a level 1 sponsored American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program (ISIN code: US92023R4074, Ticker: VLOWY). The parity between ADR and one ordinary Vallourec share was set at 5:1.

For more information, please contact:

  • Press release_Aramco_VA_Final_200922

]]> Business meeting between Qatar and Saudi Arabia aims to expand investment ties Sun, 18 Sep 2022 17:53:00 +0000

Officials from the Qatar Chamber and Saudi Arabia’s Asharqia Chamber participated in the Qatari-Saudi business meeting held in Doha on Sunday in the presence of key dignitaries from both sides.
The meeting, hosted by the Qatar Chamber, was co-chaired by First Vice President Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari and Asharqia Chamber Speaker Badr bin Suleiman al-Raziza.
The participants discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between Qatari and Saudi businessmen in the areas of trade and investment, as well as investment opportunities available on both sides.
They also discussed the possibility of building alliances and partnerships between companies in Qatar and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia to achieve economic and trade integration.
Addressing the meeting, al-Kuwari stressed the Qatar Chamber’s interest in enhancing cooperation and opening up new channels of partnership between businesses in the two countries. He said the meeting will contribute to the further development of economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Al-Kuwari said Qatar and Saudi Arabia share a “close and historic relationship”, which is reflected in their economic ties, particularly with the common desire of the private sector in both countries to strengthen cooperation and forge alliances and partnerships.
He noted that bilateral trade between Qatar and Saudi Arabia “has started to gradually return to its previous levels”, which stood at “674 million QR” in 2021, which, according to al-Kuwari, “is still below expectations compared to pre-2017 levels”.
Al-Kuwari highlighted the close relations between the Qatar and Asharqia Chambers and the willingness of the two organizations to cement the relationship and encourage businesses in Qatar and the Eastern Saudi Province to develop cooperative ties and establish investments and joint partnerships.
This also affirms that the Eastern Province represents a particular importance for the Qatari private sector due to its geographical position and the presence of all the incentives and facilitations to develop trade exchanges between the two parties.
Al-Kuwari stressed the importance of coordination between the two chambers to expand private sector cooperation, activate trade and create new investment opportunities.
He called on Saudi businessmen to expand their investments in Qatar and benefit from the incentives offered by the government. Al-Kuwari urged Qatari businessmen to explore the opportunities available in the Eastern Province and to cooperate with their Saudi counterparts in joint ventures that would expand the private sector’s contribution to achieving the two countries’ National Vision 2030.
Al-Raziza said Qatar and Saudi Arabia enjoyed extensive relations and a unified vision to achieve “inclusive renaissance” for the benefit of their people. He commended the role of the Qatari-Saudi Coordination Council in strengthening bilateral relations and expanding partnerships between the two countries in line with the National Vision 2030, which supports joint cooperation in the Gulf and creates new opportunities between the two countries. two brother peoples.
He said Saudi Arabia looks forward to broader partnerships between the two countries’ business sectors, especially in light of the favorable conditions supported by the aspirations of the leaders of the two countries and the fast-growing markets and sectors in Qatar. and in Saudi Arabia. .
Al-Raziza pointed out that this helps create new prospects for cooperation and partnerships, achieve economic integration and increase trade in the private sector.
During the meeting, the Qatar Investment Authority made a presentation on the investment opportunities available in Qatar. The Saudi delegation reviewed a number of elements of investment in the eastern province, such as land and air border crossings in the region, which contains 1,845 factories, or 22% of the total number of factories in Saudi Arabia. saudi. The most important industries in the province include chemical industries, textiles, paper, food products, non-metallic industries, oil, gas, coal and minerals, among others.

Saudi Arabia inaugurates the port of Jazan Thu, 15 Sep 2022 10:52:49 +0000

In its first phase, the port consists of three industrial berths, a Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility for the Saudi Aramco refinery, and three commercial berths for containers, general cargo and bulk cargo.

The Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, HE Eng. Khalid Al-Salem that the port is one of the most critical catalysts to support the industrial growth of Jazan City Port for Primary and Downstream Industries (JCPDI Port).

Eric Ip, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Ports, said: “We have been in Saudi Arabia for 22 years and it is a very important market for Hutchison Ports. Today’s ceremony marks a new chapter for us in the Kingdom and we look forward to working closely with the Royal Commission to make Hutchison Ports Jazan a success and help JCPDI reach its full potential and contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030.”

The port will use remote-controlled cranes and state-of-the-art container and bulk cargo handling systems to enable electronic transactions. Training programs will be organized for local talent, said Hutchison Ports Jazan CEO Charlie Darazi.

A berthing depth of 16.5m will allow container ships over 21,000 teu to berth and bulk carriers with a capacity over 100,000 tons.

The port has a total quay length of 1,250 m for containers, bulk and general cargo, with a nominal capacity of one million teu per year and around four million tonnes of cargo, in addition to a terminal liquid for Saudi Aramco tankers.

Andy Tsoi, Hutchison Ports Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa, said JCPDI Port represents an exciting new chapter. He added that strategically, JCPDI sits at the crossroads of the busy east-west trade route and the rapidly growing north-south trade. JCPDI also has the potential to be the Kingdom’s first port of call from East Asia. Thus, given the talented local human capital and the continued support of development policies, the port is very well positioned for the future of the Kingdom’s maritime industry.

Minister of Investment, HE Eng. Khalid Al-Falih said the Saudi economy was booming, with 11% growth in the first quarter of 2022 and a 21.5% growth in its Industrial Production Index (IPI).

Windfall in oil prices and sector growth blow up Saudi economy Tue, 13 Sep 2022 15:16:21 +0000

The Saudi economy is booming according to the latest Economic Insight report, commissioned by ICAEW, for the Middle East

ICAEW Economic Advisor Scott Livermore says with the oil price windfall, Saudi continues to attract new investment into the economy (Image source: ICAEW)

Windfall from rising oil prices combined with growth in other sectors is expected to see the economy grow by 7.6% this year, the fastest rate since 2011. This positive outlook means that the Kingdom’s economy is on track to surpass the $1 trillion GDP mark for the first time.

ICAEW Managing Director, International, Mark Billington, said: “While the surge in oil prices and production has contributed greatly to the Saudi economy, the outlook for non-oil growth indicates that plans to diversify ambitions of the Kingdom are on the right track. Expectations that Saudi Arabia will enter the club of trillion-dollar economies this year show great progress towards achieving its Vision 2030 target of US$1.7 trillion.

According to the third quarter report, Saudi Arabia’s outlook is supported by a 23.1% increase in oil activities and triple-digit growth in oil exports. This saw the Kingdom post its strongest growth in more than a decade in the second quarter at 12.2%. Saudi oil production increased by nearly 11 million bpd as the OPEC alliance eased production limits. It is expected to average 10.6 million bpd this year, up from 9.1 million bpd in 2021.

Rising oil revenues are also benefiting the non-oil economy, which recorded 8.2% growth in business in the second quarter. The latest manufacturing PMI reached 57.7 in August, showing steady improvement in customer numbers, production and purchases as demand strengthens despite inflation. Point-of-sale transactions and credit to the private sector are showing double-digit growth, and imports are also indicative of the strength of the Kingdom’s domestic economy which continues to demand goods.

The ICAEW sees Saudi Arabia’s non-oil sector growing 5.1% this year, which will further propel the national employment rate after hitting a high of 89.9% in the first quarter.

While oil prices will remain at levels supportive of Saudi public finances, the report says the Kingdom’s budget surplus will peak this year at 9% of GDP, before narrowing as oil prices decline. After numerous budget deficits since 2014, the Saudi government benefited from Saudi Aramco’s record quarterly profits in the second quarter of 2022, which contributed to a large budget surplus. However, Saudi Arabia stuck to its 2022 spending plan and used the windfall from rising oil prices to replenish its reserves and build the investment fund.

ICAEW Economic Adviser and Chief Economist and Managing Director of Oxford Economics Middle East, Scott Livermore, said: “Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning trade surplus comes at a time when it is rapidly diversifying from oil revenues to domestic growth. By using windfall oil revenues to build the Public Investment Fund, the Kingdom continues to attract new investment into the economy, despite global headwinds. In recent months, the Saudi crown prince has hammered out a series of energy, military, security, economic and trade deals in meetings with officials from Kazakhstan, Greece, France and others. These agreements will help stimulate the expansion of the Kingdom’s non-oil private sector and stimulate the local labor market.

India-Saudi relations show promise of growth: EAM S Jaishankar: The Tribune India Mon, 12 Sep 2022 02:02:00 +0000

Tribune press service

New Delhi, September 11

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has stressed the importance of closer ties between India and Saudi Arabia at a time when the world stands at a crossroads.

Age-old relationship

Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has been helpful and has provided oxygen supplies. India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations, reflecting centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties. S Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs

“Our collaboration holds promise for shared growth, prosperity, stability, security and development,” he said today, addressing diplomats from the Prince Saud Al Institute of Diplomatic Studies. Faisal in Riyadh. It was the second day of his first visit to Saudi Arabia as Minister of External Affairs.

Jaishankar also co-chaired with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud the first ministerial meeting of the Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation (PSSC) Committee, established under the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council.

“Warm and productive meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister this afternoon,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The minister had started his visit with an interaction with the community on Saturday, during which he appreciated the contribution of the Indian diaspora in tackling national challenges. He also told them about India’s resilience, especially during Covid, and the ongoing national transformation in India.

Jaishankar said that over the past few years Saudi Arabia has been very helpful and provided oxygen supply. “India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations, reflecting the centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.”

Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner.

More than 18% of India’s crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. In the first nine months of fiscal 2022 (April-December), bilateral trade was valued at $29.28 billion. During this period, India’s imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at $22.65 billion and exports at $6.63 billion. The 22 lakh Indian community is the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia.

#s jaishankar

India seeks to increase investment from Saudi Arabia as part of its privileged relationship Sat, 10 Sep 2022 10:21:45 +0000

Relations between India and Saudi Arabia, which have strengthened considerably over the past few years – particularly following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Riyadh in October 2019 – will be the focus of attention this weekend. while External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will travel directly from Tokyo to Saudi Arabia. capital today.

Jaishankar will co-chair the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation (PSSC) Committee, established under the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council, with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

The Strategic Partnership Council, which includes two sub-committees – the PSSC and the Economy and Investments Committee – reflects the will of the leaders of both parties to give new impetus to this important relationship.

The two sub-committees have four functional levels of engagement – ​​top level (Prime Minister and Crown Prince); ministerial level; meetings of senior officials; and Joint Working Groups (JWGs).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud exchanging the Strategic Partnership Council agreement, in Riyadh on October 29, 2019

The two ministers are expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the entire bilateral relationship and will discuss progress under the PSSC Committee’s four joint working groups – political and consular; legal and security; social and cultural; and Joint Defense Cooperation Committee.

Prime Minister Modi had expressed India’s desire to see more investment from Saudi Arabia, including in key sectors like energy, IT and defense manufacturing when Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud called it when he visited New Delhi last year.

Long before the first ministerial meeting, groups and senior officials at the secretary level have held discussions over the past few months.

Saudi Arabia

During the three-day visit, Jaishankar will also meet with other Saudi dignitaries as well as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf to review bilateral relations and discuss ways to improve them. to improve.

While the senior leaders of the two countries have remained in close contact even during the Covid pandemic, India and Saudi Arabia have witnessed an increase in cooperation in the fields of politics, security, energy, trade, investment, health, food security, culture and defence.

Saudi Arabia remains India’s fourth largest trading partner. More than 18% of India’s crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. In FY22 (April-December), bilateral trade was valued at US$29.28 billion. During this period, Indian imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at US$22.65 billion and exports to Saudi Arabia at US$6.63 billion.
India Saudi ArabiaSaudi investments in India, as of March 2021, amounted to US$3.13 billion. The main Saudi investment groups are ARAMCO, SABIC, ZAMIL, E-holidays and Al Batterjee Group. Additionally, Soft Bank’s “Vision Fund” has invested in Indian startups such as Delhivery, FirstCry, Grofers, Ola, OYO, Paytm and PolicyBazaar.

Other major proposed investments include the US$44 billion west coast refinery and petrochemicals project in Maharashtra, which is being jointly built by Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and an Indian consortium, which includes Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation.

In the renewable energy sector, the Saudi company Al-Fanar holds a majority stake in 600 MW wind projects in India.

Riyadh also thanked India for supporting Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, including facilitating the travel of Indian medical professionals to Saudi Arabia.

While a large number of Indian workers, especially in the Gulf, have returned to India due to Covid-19, the economic recovery in this region and their growing openness to travel from India has now seen a return of many of them.

India Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, bilateral trade between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has increased from US$87.35 billion in the financial year 2020-21 to US$154.66 billion in the of the 2021-22 financial year, registering an increase of 77.06% year-on-year. base.

Giving details in the Lok Sabha of India’s exports to the GCC over the past five financial years, Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Anupriya Patel said a few weeks ago that since the FY 2017-18, on a base compound annual growth rate, bilateral trade between India and the GCC grew by 10.57%.
India GCCDuring Jaishankar’s visit, India and Saudi Arabia will also discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest, including their cooperation in the United Nations, G20 and GCC.

The two ministers also had useful exchanges of views on Afghanistan, the Gulf and the Indo-Pacific in the recent past.

Also read: India, Japan hail ‘dramatic expansion’ of security and defense ties following 2+2 talks

In view of tourism boom, Saudi Arabia scrambles to train hotel staff Thu, 08 Sep 2022 05:42:34 +0000 Riyadh (AFP) – Under the watchful eye of an instructor, Munira al-Rubaian hangs fresh bed linen in a fake hotel room in the Saudi capital, in a bid to land a job in the desert kingdom’s booming tourism sector .

The unemployed 25-year-old is one of thousands of Saudis enrolled in the state’s Tourism Pioneers program, which aims to prepare 100,000 job seekers for a field that government officials say is on the verge of taking off.

At two establishments in Riyadh, Rubaian and other interns study tasks such as greeting hotel guests, preparing food in high-end restaurants and keeping luxury suites immaculately clean.

Others are sent abroad to take short courses in countries with much more advanced tourist industries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and France.

This newly minted army of bellhops, cleaners and hotel managers should help Saudi Arabia – a reputedly conservative and closed Gulf kingdom that only opened its doors to tourism three years ago – to make a positive impression. on first- time visitors.

The program also supports the government’s goal of employing more Saudis in roles traditionally filled by migrant workers.

The niqab-wearing Rubaian signed up for Tourism Pioneers after her own efforts to find a job at a hotel came to nothing.


She is optimistic that the experience will help her get her foot in the door.

“I had the opportunity to learn and improve my abilities for the job,” she told AFP.

“I will now have the experience and confidence to deal with people.”

aim high

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 37-year-old de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, is counting on a tourism boom to diversify the economy of the world’s biggest oil exporter.

In 2019, two years after Prince Mohammed became the first to ascend the throne, the country introduced tourist visas, but the coronavirus pandemic dashed hopes of an immediate influx.


The authorities nevertheless remain committed to their staggering goal of attracting 30 million foreign visitors a year by 2030, compared to just 4 million last year.

This is in addition to the 70 million domestic trips targeted each year by Saudis and foreign residents.

Of an expected 100 million tourists a year, officials predict some 30 million will make religious pilgrimages, mostly to Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites, in western Saudi Arabia. .

The rest, officials hope, will be fueled in part by new attractions like Al-Ula, a budding arts center set among ancient Nabataean tombs, and the Red Sea Project, a Maldives-style resort destination.

But while the kingdom has in recent years relaxed rules banning cinemas, co-ed concerts and sporting events, other regulations, including an alcohol ban, remain in place that could hurt its appeal.


In a bid to attract more Arab tourists and better compete with regional rivals like the United Arab Emirates, the tourism ministry announced last week that residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council could apply for e-tourism visas.

This right has already been granted to 49 countries, mainly in Europe and North America.

Overseas exhibition

To make their dreams a reality, Saudi leaders recognize the need to dramatically increase the number of people working in tourism.

Some 850,000 people currently work in the sector, only 26% of whom are Saudis, according to official figures.


Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 reform program aims to create one million new jobs in tourism and increase the proportion of Saudis working in them to 70%.

Tourism Pioneers, launched in June, has a budget of $100 million, with programs for 52 specific jobs, from entry level to management.

“We need to develop the knowledge, skills, competencies of Saudis to the highest level,” said Mohammed Bushnag, deputy minister of tourism in charge of human capital development.

Al-Waleed al-Zaidi, who works as a sales manager in Riyadh for a foreign hotel chain, visited Switzerland for a week-long course and got a taste of what it’s like to serve travelers leisure – quite a different challenge from the corporate clientele to which he is accustomed.

Instead of questions about dry cleaning services and international call rates, she was asked for recommendations on attractions and how best to use public transport.

The experience “opened up my understanding of the different needs of tourists in terms of activities, food and places they would like to visit,” he said.


For Bushnag, this type of education will enable Saudis to provide a high level of service.

“We are extremely concerned about the quality and global exposure of Saudis” who have so far seen little of the operation of other countries’ tourism industries, he said.

“We have to close this gap.”