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

  • SABIC is stimulating innovation, jobs, and overseas investment by helping Saudi Arabia’s downstream businesses to grow through programs such as Home of Innovation™. SABIC. 27-8-16
  • SABIC, the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co. Ltd., and the government of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China agreed on cooperation principles for a joint venture to build a greenfield coal-to-chemicals complex in China. SABIC. 31-8-16
  • SABIC will support King Saud University engineering students participating in Shell’s Eco Marathon Competition to build energy-efficient cars. Saudi Gazette. 2-9-16

CONSTRUCTION

  • As one of four Egyptian real estate companies that signed a protocol to deliver homes to Saudi Arabia, Al Ahly For Real Estate Development Company is set to contribute 150,000 housing units for middle-income earners in Saudi Arabia. IFPInfo. 29-8-16
  • Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ningxia Region in China to build 100,000 housing units in Al-Ahsa Province. Al Arabiya. 31-8-16
  • Rental prices for residential units in Jeddah jumped 30% for various reasons, including increases for building material and construction wages. Saudi Daily Record. 24-8-16
  • Ken Research released the report Upcoming Megaprojects to Heighten Construction Industry Prospects in Saudi Arabia, providing a detailed profile of infrastructure and construction industry in the Kingdom. MENA Financial Network. 2-9-16
  • To shrink a budget deficit, Saudi Arabia is reviewing thousands of projects valued at $69bn total and may cancel one-third of them, along with merging or eliminating government ministries. Bloomberg. 6-9-16
  • Construction of two bridges connecting Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province with Bahrain and Qatar is expected to begin soon. Al Bawaba. 23-8-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will invest in King Abdullah Economic City, bringing more capital into the industrial zone to help it expand and to diversify the economy. Al Arabiya. 4-9-16

ENERGY

  • Saudi Electricity Company is on track with plans to privatize its assets by the end of 2016 as part of the effort to increase efficiency in the Kingdom’s utilities. Al Arabiya. 31-8-16
  • Countries across the Middle East are looking to diversify their energy mix with renewables emerging as a compelling option. Gulf Business. 3-9-16
  • Can the Gulf Countries Become Renewable Energy Leaders? World Politics Review. 2-9-16
  • Solar Frontier has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Arabian National Industrial Cluster Development Programme to investigate the potential of producing CIS thin-filmed solar panels in the Kingdom. Green Power Solar. 2-9-16
  • The Saudi Electricity Company will likely delay the planned expansion of its Jeddah South power plant but is still expected to start tendering for a plant near Riyadh. Emirates Business. 30-8-16
  • Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the Kingdom will maintain a responsible oil production policy, with output based on customers’ needs. Gulf Business. 31-8-16
  • Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation has offered to build 16 nuclear power units in Saudi Arabia, valued at $100bn and to be completed by 2030. Saudi Gazette. 6-9-16
  • Sadara Chemical, a $20bn petrochemical joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, has begun operating the first mixed-feed cracker in Jubail. Gulf Business. 28-8-16
  • Saudi Arabia retained the lead as China’s biggest oil supplier during the first seven months of 2016. Emirates Business. 25-8-16

TRANSPORTATION

  • In 2017, Saudi Arabia will launch seven high-speed trains to connect the Kingdom’s holy sites that are visited by millions of pilgrims from around the world each year. Saudi Daily Record. 23-8-16
  • New Saudi Arabian airline Sky Prime was granted a license to operate by the General Authority of Civil Aviation and will begin operations at the end of 2016. Al Bawaba. 25-8-16
  • Saudi Arabia is emerging as a major hub for aviation services, including maintenance, spare parts, and manufacturing. Saudi Daily Record. 28-8-16
  • Goodyear Middle East and Africa and Rashed Abdul Rahman AlRashed & Sons Group opened the first Goodyear TruckForce Service Center in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Gazette. 29-8-16

CONSUMER

  • The cost of living in Saudi Arabia increased by 3.8 percent in July compared to 2015, partly due to higher prices for tobacco, transport, and household bills. Gulf Business. 28-8-16
  • Saudi Arabia is proposing to modify production of single-use plastic products to reduce waste, which is double that of other GCC countries. Al Bawaba. 5-9-16

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • Chinese technology firm Huawei was awarded an investment license to operate in Saudi Arabia with 100% ownership and will establish an innovation center in the Kingdom. Gulf Business. 31-8-16
  • Emirates-based hospital group NMC Health has acquired a 70% stake in As Salama Hospital in Al Khobar and is investing to build a 120-bed chronic care center in Jeddah. The Telegraph. 30-8-16
  • Coca-Cola announced its sponsorship of the Saudi Football Federation, which includes full support of the Saudi national football team and any related main events. Al Bawaba. 30-8-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the Iranian-allied Houthis will not be allowed to take over Yemen, following the failure of U.N.-sponsored talks to end 18 months of fighting. Reuters. 31-8-16
  • Recent visits by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan, China, and Japan illustrate that Saudi Arabia is making international diplomatic and economic efforts to create strategic partnerships and relationships that will benefit its citizens and the region. Al Arabiya. 31-8-16
  • At the recent G20 summit in China, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for closer ties among the G20 allies. Arab News. 5-9-16

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