Saudi Arabia, Canada Launch New Phase of Cooperation in Education, Knowledge, Capabilities

The Canadian ambassador said his country is working in partnership with Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations in the educational fields. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Canadian ambassador said his country is working in partnership with Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations in the educational fields. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia, Canada Launch New Phase of Cooperation in Education, Knowledge, Capabilities

The Canadian ambassador said his country is working in partnership with Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations in the educational fields. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Canadian ambassador said his country is working in partnership with Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations in the educational fields. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh hosted on Tuesday the first Saudi-Canadian Forum for Educational Partnership, in the presence of Saudi Minister of Education Yousef Al-Benyan and Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom Jean-Philippe Linteau.

The forum aims to strengthen cooperation and partnerships between educational institutions in the two countries. It witnessed the participation of around 180 experts and stakeholders in the fields of education, health and industry.

Al-Benyan underlined the importance of education in achieving the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, especially in terms of qualifying students to compete globally. He noted that the forum reflected the commitment of Saudi Arabia and Canada to develop the existing strategic partnership between them.

The minister touched on his recent visit to Canada and pointed to many existing opportunities for cooperation in the fields of general and higher education, early childhood programs, teacher development, in addition to medical, technical and vocational training programs.

He stressed the importance of boosting cooperation between the two countries in research and development in priority areas in line with Vision 2030.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Linteau said Canada is a committed partner in supporting the Kingdom’s move towards a knowledge-based economy as described in the goals of Vision 2030.

He added that the forum will serve as a platform for dialogue, communication and cooperation in the fields of joint research, technical training, capacity building, student and faculty exchange, curriculum development and opening external centers.

The ambassador said his country is working in partnership with Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations in education due to the importance of this sector in developing human capital and supporting innovation to achieve a prosperous future for the two countries.

The forum aims to explore the most important areas of educational cooperation, such as: information technology, tourism, health care, clean energy, mining, and agriculture, he went on to say.



Foreign Direct Investment in China Drops 28% in Five Months

A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker before a delivery ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. Reuters
A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker before a delivery ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. Reuters
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Foreign Direct Investment in China Drops 28% in Five Months

A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker before a delivery ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. Reuters
A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker before a delivery ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. Reuters

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China dropped 28.2% to reach 412.5 billion yuan (approximately $57.94 billion) during the first five months of 2024 from the same period last year, data released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday.

Despite the decline, 21,764 new foreign-invested firms were established across China in the reporting period, an increase of 17.4%, Xinhua News Agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

“The scale of foreign investment in actual use is still at a historically high level,” according to a ministry official, who attributed the decline mainly to a high comparison base last year.

The manufacturing sector attracted 28.4%, or ¥117.1 billion, of the total FDI inflow, up 2.8% points from the same period last year and indicating continued improvement in investment structure.

FDI inflows into smart consumer equipment manufacturing and professional technical services increased 332.9% and 103.1% year-on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, China sees significant improvement in the World Competitiveness Ranking 2024 thanks to its strong economic performance, said Arturo Bris, director of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Center.

The new ranking released by the IMD on Tuesday showed that Singapore is the world's most competitive economy, while China is rapidly closing the gap climbing by seven positions thanks to its strong economic recovery post-pandemic.

“The Chinese performance this year is interesting. There is a significant improvement of seven positions. It is one of the countries that has improved the most. Certainly, we see China climbing to the top 10 sooner rather than later,” Bris told Xinhua via video link on Tuesday regarding the ranking.

“China has now reached the 14th position after ranking 21st last year. This is first of all explained by the strong performance of the economy after COVID,” he said.

“There has been improvement in corporate governance practices of Chinese companies and there is better access to talent and financing of technologies in companies. All in all, this points out to a more favorable business environment provided by the government,” Bris said.

Asia is the big winner this year and countries like China, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia all improved their positions in the competitiveness ranking, he said.

In the coming years, there will be more fragmentation and protectionism in the global economy, Bris added.

“Countries that have better domestic markets, access to commodities and natural resources like China, are going to perform much better compared to Europe or Latin America. China is going to perform very well in a fragmented economy,” the IMD director noted.

The World Competitiveness Ranking 2024 showed that Switzerland ranked second, and Denmark ranked third.

The ranking also showed that emerging markets are catching up with more advanced economies, especially in the areas of innovation, digitalization, and diversification.