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

  • In a joint venture with Exxon Mobil, SABIC will decide by the end of 2016 whether to build a multibillion-dollar chemical plant along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Houston Chronicle. 30-9-16 

MARKETS

CONSTRUCTION

  • The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has instructed municipalities across Saudi Arabia that fire-resistant materials must be used in the construction of all buildings. Saudi Gazette. 3-10-16
  • Cement sales in Saudi Arabia fell 10.3% year on year in August but grew 41% from the previous month. Saudi Daily Record. 2-10-16
  • The first worldwide adsorption water desalination and cooling plant in Saudi Arabia has begun operation with low electrical consumption and other reduced costs. Saudi-US Trade Group. 20-9-16
  • The Saudi finance ministry has resumed payments to construction firm Saudi Binladin Group for its work on government projects. Saudi-US Trade Group. 23-9-16  

ENERGY  

  • Saudi Electricity Company plans to seek private investors to participate in creating an additional 5,400 megawatts of generating capacity. Gulf Business. 3-10-16
  • The World Economic Forum says the slump in global energy prices means oil-producing countries face a "clear need" to diversify their economies and improve competitiveness. CNBC. 27-9-16
  • India is talking with the UAE and Saudi Arabia about plans to fill half of the 1.5 million tons of the Mangalore strategic storage with oil, along with Iranian crude. Reuters. 21-9-16
  • Saudi Arabia has offered to reduce oil production if rival Iran caps its output this year. Gulf Business. 25-9-16
  • Saudi Aramco plans to invest about $334bn by 2025 on infrastructure and projects to maintain oil capacity as well as exploring for and developing other resources. Al Arabiya. 26-9-16
  • In the wake of low oil prices, Saudi Arabia is curbing financial perks such as public sector employee bonuses, including salary cuts of 20% to ministers. Al Arabiya. 26-9-16
  • Saudi Arabian petrochemical company PetroRabigh plans to delay completion of an expansion project due to “construction market challenges,” raising the project cost to $9.1bn. AMEinfo. 29-9-16

TRANSPORTATION

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines is adding 63 aircraft to its fleet. Gulf Business. 25-9-16
  • Saudi Arabia–based Bahri, a transportation and logistics company, is opening an office in Houston, Tex., USA, to capitalize on one of the busiest water ports in the world. Chron. 29-9-16  

CONSUMER

  • Saudi Arabia is seeking 8,000 new tourist guides by 2030 as it expands its tourism industry as part of the plans to diversify the national economy. IFPinfo. 26-9-16
  • The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to more than 1,000 Saudi women per year and will inaugurate a shopping mall for clothes designed by Saudi females. Saudi Gazette. 27-9-16
  • Arabian Centres opened the Al Hamra Mall in Riyadh, which houses more than 167 retail and entertainment outlets. Saudi Daily Record. 2-10-16
  • According to a recent study, 68% of consumers in Saudi Arabia prefer to make payments by mobile phone, with tablets and I.D. cards being the next popular payment methods. Al Arabiya. 3-10-16 

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • Germany-based Siemens has manufactured the world’s largest geared compressor rotor for the Jazan integrated gasification combined cycle power plant in Saudi Arabia. Zawya. 22-9-16
  • U.S. News & World Report has ranked Saudi Arabia first among Arab countries in terms of conditions for setting up corporate headquarters. Arab News. 27-9-16
  • As Saudi Arabia commemorated 86 years since its founding, Al Arabiya English spoke to several young men and women about the Kingdom’s present and future. 23-9-16
  • Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been ranked 42nd in Bloomberg’s list of the 50 Most Influential People in the world of finance. Saudi-US Trade Group. 27-9-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman met with New Zealand Minister of Trade to discuss bilateral relations in joint investments. Saudi Gazette. 29-9-16
  • Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed several agreements to bolster cooperation—mainly in the fields of manpower cooperation, science, culture, and communications. Arab News. 1-10-16 

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