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News & Activities in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East Region.
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SABIC

  • SABIC is seeking to strengthen its fertilizer business with acquisitions and could announce other deals for chemical and polymer businesses by the end of the third quarter of 2016. Reuters. 19-4-16
  • At Chinaplas 2016 in Shanghai, SABIC Executive Vice President of Polymers Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh said that China's polyolefin demand is shifting toward higher-value applications such as automotive polypropylene and metallocine polyethylene. Platts. 26-4-16
  • SABIC published its 2015 Annual Report and Sustainability Report, both featuring Home of Innovation and available for download in PDF format.

  ENERGY

  • Saudi Arabia replaced its water and electricity minister following public complaints over a surge in prices less than six months after the government cut generous utility subsidies. The National. 24-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s recently released Vision 2030 plan targets 9.5 GW of renewable energy generation but does not specify a timeframe or which renewables will be deployed. PV Magazine. 26-4-16
  • Saudi Aramco outlined financing plans to transform itself into a “global industrial conglomerate” involved in many sectors and services beyond oil and gas. Al Bawaba. 28-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia will pump more oil to meet the summer domestic demand—with output rising from 10.15 to 10.5 million barrels per day. Al Jazeera. 29-4-16

  CONSTRUCTION

  • KSA’s Ministry of Housing announced its intention of enabling 75% of Saudi citizens (1.5 million families) to own houses within five years. Arab News. 2-5-16
  • King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh will be overhauled into a special business zone that also includes residential housing, services, and hospitality. Arab News. 28-4-16
  • The Saudi government pledged to pay 70% of the outstanding bills owed to the country’s construction sector. The National. 30-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s government has authorized the housing ministry to seek the help of Britain, France, and China to ease the affordable housing shortage in the Kingdom. Reuters. 2-5-16
  • An impending implementation of the white land tax on undeveloped properties in Saudi Arabia is causing the sale of large property portfolios. Arabian Business. 2-5-16

  AUTOMOTIVE

  • The global automotive lightweight material market, estimated at $77.1 billion in 2015, is expected to grow at 14% CAGR from 2016 to 2022. PR Newswire. 21-4-16
  • SAMACO won the “Best Auto Dealership in Saudi Arabia 2015/2016” award and attained the highest percentage vote for the PR Auto Award 2015/2016. Saudi Gazette. 2-5-16 

  CONSUMER

  • Attken International has partnered with U.S.-based Do It Best Corporation to open the first Do It Best store in Saudi Arabia to offer building materials, home-improvement products, appliances, outdoor furniture, lighting, automotive products, sporting gear, apparel, and toys. Trade Arabia. 26-4-16
  • A Saudi official urged the Kingdom to create a food pricing index similar to that of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to ensure local merchants reduce prices in line with global trends. Arab News. 28-4-16
  • Indian IT services exporter Wipro Arabia Limited, Saudi Aramco, and Princess Nourah University opened Saudi Arabia’s first all-women business and technology park that is expected to create nearly 21,000 jobs for Saudi women by 2025. Business Wire. 2-5-16

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 sets the stage for sweeping reforms to wean the country from its dependence on oil, with an emphasis on privatization of state assets. Al Bawaba. 26-4-16
  • Sudan hopes to attract more Saudi investments in the mineral sector. Sudan Tribune. 1-5-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • U.S. President Obama’s visit to Riyadh received little publicity, reflecting the strained ties between the President and the Kingdom. Saudi-US Trade Group. 20-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia plans to develop a Saudi defense industry to localize 50% of the military equipment it buys and to supply its military allies in the region. Forbes. 27-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia and Jordan agreed to establish a joint coordination council to boost bilateral relations and cooperation in enhancing the region's security. The Jordan Times. 27-4-16 

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