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

  • SABIC unveiled new products designed to help to minimize food waste, reduce weight, and lower the carbon footprint of packaging materials. AZoM. 21-6-16
  • SABIC is installing six packaging lines by Coperion—a collaborator in plastic compounding, material handling, and extrusion—and a common palletizing island at the SABIC plant in Pontirolo, Italy. Packaging Europe. 22-6-16

   ENERGY

  • Saudi Arabia plans to set up an “Energy City” to attract major companies and energy-related industries to the Kingdom and increase local inputs in the energy and petrochemical industries. Emirates Business. 6-20-16
  • The Saudi Electricity Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eastern Province Municipality to conduct research on implementing recycling technology that would convert waste into power. Arab News. 22-6-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s oil inventories have declined for six consecutive months—the longest running stretch in 15 years—signaling a potential end to the glut that has plagued the oil market since 2014. Bloomberg. 23-6-16
  • Saudi Arabia plans major cuts to greenhouse emissions levels, which are now some of the highest in the world. Emirates Business. 23-6-16
  • Saudi Arabia has hired J.P. Morgan, HSBC, and Citigroup to help sell its first international bond as it seeks to shore up its finances amid low oil prices. The Wall Street Journal. 26-6-16

  CONSTRUCTION

  • The construction industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% from 2016 to 2020 as a result of transport infrastructure investments, including the railway and airport. railway-technology.com. 24-6-16
  • Saudi contractor Al-Khodari will book a multimillion Riyal loss by reallocating a government contract it won in 2014 to another company. Gulf Business. 27-6-16
  • The board of Saudi contractor Mohammed Al Mojil Group (MMG) resigned after the firm’s chairman, his son, and another executive were sentenced to prison for misrepresenting the company’s value. The National. 20-6-16

  TRANSPORTATION

  • Saudi Arabia’s Transport Minister Suleiman al-Hamdan will take over as head of the Saudi Railway Company to unify the Kingdom’s rail and other forms of public transport. Emirates Business. 20-6-16
  • The Saudi Railways Organisation granted a 14-month extension to the consortium building the second phase of the Haramain high-speed rail. Emirates Business. 6-22-16
  • Saudi Arabia plans to hire 2,000 nationals as cost assessors of vehicle accidents toward fulfilling its intent to digitize the automotive insurance claim process and reduce fraud. Gulf Business. 22-6-16
  • The first Saudi-built Renault trucks have began rolling out of the Arabian Vehicles & Trucks Industry Co. Ltd. assembly facility in King Abdullah Economic City. Saudi Gazette. 24-6-2016

  CONSUMER

  • Kuwait’s Alghanim Industries plans to expand the American fast-food chain Wendy’s into Saudi Arabia after acquiring the regional franchise for the brand last year. Gulf Business. 22-6-16
  • U.S. aqua park Sea World Parks & Entertainment is considering expansion into Saudi Arabia after its executives met with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his recent visit to the United States. Arabian Business. 23-6-16

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved a 2.5 percent tax on undeveloped urban land and rules allowing foreign investors to own 100 percent of retail and wholesale businesses. AMEinfo. 14-6-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s market regulator has banned the local unit of U.S.-based accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche from providing any audit work in the Kingdom for two years. Gulf Business. 19-6-16
  • Swiss International signed a management agreement with the Al Zamil real estate group to develop a hotel and resort at the Al Qassim Touristic city project in Saudi Arabia. Arabian Business. 23-6-16
  • A greater influx of American firms into Saudi Arabia is expected in the retail, entertainment, education, and finance sectors. Arab News. 24-6-16
  • Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to the United States sealed deals with major U.S. firms, including Dow Chemical Company, 3M, and Microsoft. Al Arabiya. 25-6-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House to discuss challenges facing stability in the Middle East. Al Jazeera . 18-6-16
  • Jordan and Saudi Arabia are negotiating to promote cooperation in various sectors, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Al Bawaba. 27-6-16

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