Saudi Aramco Urges World Unity around New Energy Transformation Plan

President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser (Reuters)
President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser (Reuters)
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Saudi Aramco Urges World Unity around New Energy Transformation Plan

President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser (Reuters)
President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser (Reuters)

President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser, emphasized the need for a more reliable energy transition plan, in a keynote speech on Tuesday at the Schlumberger Digital Forum.

In his speech, Nasser underlined the importance of achieving a new global consensus of views and positions, outlining three strategic axes: “Recognition by policy makers and other stakeholders that supplies of ample and affordable conventional energy are still required over the long term; further reductions in the carbon footprint of conventional energy, and greater efficiency of energy use, with technology enabling both; and new, lower carbon energy, steadily complementing proven conventional sources.”

Highlighting the consequences of not having a reliable and balanced plan for energy transformation, he said: “The energy transition plan has been undermined by unrealistic scenarios and flawed assumptions because they have been mistakenly perceived as facts. For example, one scenario led many to assume that major oil use sectors would switch to alternatives almost overnight, and therefore oil demand would never return to pre-Covid levels.”

He continued: “Perhaps most damaging of all was the idea that contingency planning could be safely ignored… Because when you shame oil and gas investors, dismantle oil-and coal-fired power plants, fail to diversify energy supplies (especially gas), oppose LNG receiving terminals, and reject nuclear power, your transition plan had better be right.”

On the importance of increasing investment in the oil and gas sector, the CEO of Saudi Aramco expressed concern, as oil and gas investments have declined significantly during the past ten years.

“This situation is not being helped by overly short-term demand factors dominating the debate. Even with strong economic headwinds, global oil demand is still fairly healthy today. But when the global economy recovers, we can expect demand to rebound further, eliminating the little spare oil production capacity out there. And by the time the world wakes up to these blind spots, it may be too late to change course,” Nasser explained.

He emphasized the need for the world to unite behind a new and credible energy transformation plan, saying: “As the pain of the energy crisis sadly intensifies, people around the world are desperate for help. In my view, the best help that policy makers and every stakeholder can offer is to unite the world around a much more credible new transition plan, driving progress on the three strategic pillars I have outlined this morning.”

He concluded: “The new plan will not be perfect. In life, nothing ever is. But that is how we deliver a more secure and more sustainable energy future, with our industry still at its heart. That is how we can ease people’s pain. And that is how spring will come again.”



Amazon Web Services to Launch Infrastructure Region in Saudi Arabia 

The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Amazon Web Services to Launch Infrastructure Region in Saudi Arabia 

The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced on Monday that it will launch an AWS infrastructure Region in Saudi Arabia in 2026.

The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom, ensuring that customers who want to keep their content in-country can do so.

As part of its long-term commitment, AWS is planning to invest more than $5.3 billion (approx. 19.88 billion Saudi riyal) in Saudi Arabia, said a statement by Amazon.

“Today’s announcement supports Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation with the highest levels of security and resilience available on AWS cloud infrastructure, helping serve fast-growing demand for cloud services across the Middle East,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS.

“The new AWS Region will enable organizations to unlock the full potential of the cloud and build with AWS technologies like compute, storage, databases, analytics, and artificial intelligence, transforming the way businesses and institutions serve their customers,” he added.

“We look forward to helping Saudi Arabian institutions, startups, and enterprises deliver cloud-powered applications to accelerate growth, productivity, and innovation and spur job creation, skills training, and educational opportunities.”

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Engineer Abdullah Alswaha said: “The partnership with AWS and their announcement of an AWS Region, backed by a $5.3 billion investment, ignites a new era of technological excellence and innovation for the Kingdom.”

“This cloud Region demonstrates a firm commitment to research, innovation, and empowering entrepreneurs to achieve prosperity for our region and the world,” he stressed.

To support the growth in cloud adoption across Saudi Arabia, AWS will continue to scale its training programs and help accelerate the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal of empowering women to increase participation in the workforce.

To help support this goal, AWS is launching a new upskilling program, “AWS Saudi Arabia Women’s Skills Initiative,” in partnership with Skillsoft Global Knowledge.

AWS will train up to 4,000 women on AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, at no charge, through classroom trainings with AWS-certified professionals. This initiative is designed to help women jumpstart a career in cloud computing.

In addition, AWS will continue to invest in upskilling students, local developers and technical professionals, nontechnical professionals, and the next generation of IT leaders in Saudi Arabia through offerings such as AWS Academy, AWS Educate, AWS re/Start, and AWS Skill Builder.


Saudi Foreign Ministry Launches ‘Dawli’ Platform to Boost Int’l Representation 

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Executive Affairs Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri made the announcement at LEAP 2024 in Riyadh on Monday. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Executive Affairs Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri made the announcement at LEAP 2024 in Riyadh on Monday. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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Saudi Foreign Ministry Launches ‘Dawli’ Platform to Boost Int’l Representation 

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Executive Affairs Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri made the announcement at LEAP 2024 in Riyadh on Monday. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Executive Affairs Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri made the announcement at LEAP 2024 in Riyadh on Monday. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched on Monday “Dawli”, a platform dedicated to recruitment opportunities at international organizations.

The announcement was made during the LEAP 2024 exhibition underway in Riyadh.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Executive Affairs Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri said Dawli aims to bolster Saudi representation at international organizations.

The platform also aims to enrich the international experiences of competent Saudi individuals, he said.

Dawli serves as a platform that brings together Saudi talents and available job opportunities at international organizations, he explained.

Moreover, he stressed that the platform is a testament to the support provided by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to the development of the Kingdom’s diplomatic community on various levels.

He further underscored the commitment of Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah to all initiatives launched by the ministry in line with the ambitious goals of Saudi Vision 2030.


Suez Canal Head Says Egypt Studying Further Expansion of Waterway

The Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea is pictured from the window of a commercial plane flying over Egypt, December 18, 2019. (Reuters)
The Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea is pictured from the window of a commercial plane flying over Egypt, December 18, 2019. (Reuters)
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Suez Canal Head Says Egypt Studying Further Expansion of Waterway

The Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea is pictured from the window of a commercial plane flying over Egypt, December 18, 2019. (Reuters)
The Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea is pictured from the window of a commercial plane flying over Egypt, December 18, 2019. (Reuters)

Egypt is studying further expansions of the Suez Canal to extend and complete a second channel of the waterway, the canal's head said on Monday, a move that could allow for higher volumes of shipping and prevent blockages from halting traffic.

The comments come as the canal is seeing a sharp fall in revenue due to shipping companies diverting away from the waterway, the shortest route between Europe and Asia, because of attacks by Houthi militias in Yemen against ships in the Red Sea.

Any new extension would come on top of current work to extend the second channel by 10 kilometers, and to deepen and widen a section of the canal.

That work was expedited after the Ever Given, a giant container ship, ran aground in a single lane section of the canal in March 2021, stopping traffic for six days.

The canal is a key source of scarce foreign currency for indebted Egypt, which spent an estimated $8.2 billion on an expansion of the canal that opened in 2015 and included the creation of a 35-km (22-mile) parallel waterway.

Canal revenues have increased gradually but by less than officials had forecast, reaching a record $9.4 billion in the financial year ending in June 2023, before dipping by at least 40% at the beginning of this year due to the Houthi attacks.

Initial studies on an additional expansion would take about 16 months, and would include feasibility, environmental and engineering studies, as well as soil and dredging research, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie said in a statement.

The project would need governmental approvals and would be funded through the SCA's investment budget, to avoid "placing any additional burdens on the state's general budget", the statement added.

Rabie said it could raise the competitiveness of the canal and allow it to take more and bigger ships.

The 2015 canal expansion is one of a number of mega-projects pursued under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.


LEAP 24 Investments in New Technologies, Cloud Computing, Data Centers Reach Record $11.9Bln

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha speaks at the launch of LEAP 2024 in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha speaks at the launch of LEAP 2024 in Riyadh. (SPA)
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LEAP 24 Investments in New Technologies, Cloud Computing, Data Centers Reach Record $11.9Bln

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha speaks at the launch of LEAP 2024 in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha speaks at the launch of LEAP 2024 in Riyadh. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Alswaha announced on Monday investments worth $11.9 billion to support deep and emerging technologies, innovation, and cloud computing in Saudi Arabia and the world.

He made the announcement at the launch of the LEAP 24 exhibition in Riyadh. The event runs until March 7.

Alswaha highlighted "the unwavering support" that Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has shown Saudi and global tech sectors to help the digital economy grow and prosper as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, read a statement from the exhibition organizers.

The investments will help consolidate the Kingdom’s position "as the largest market and digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)" for leading technology companies such as Amazon Web Services, IBM, Datavolt and ServiceNow.

The investments will go toward developing Saudi digital skills and supporting tech start-ups.

On the first day of LEAP 24, Amazon Web Services announced a $5.3 billion investment in a new cloud zone in Saudi Arabia. Datavolt also announced a $5 billion investment in Saudi data centers with a capacity of more than 300 megawatts.

IBM plans to invest $250 million in a global software development center in the Kingdom. ServiceNow will invest $500 million to localize its regional services in Saudi Arabia, with training and development programs to upskill and train Saudi talent.

Dell will open a manufacturing and fulfilment center in Saudi Arabia, the first of its kind in the MENAT region.

Aramco announced the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab (SAIL). Aramco and MCIT co-founded SAIL to strengthen Saudi Arabia's digital capabilities and to launch the "Metbrain" GenAI model; it also announced "Aramco LLM", the world’s first industrial grade GenAI.

Datadog will establish the first cloud application security solutions academy in the Kingdom, and Uipath announced the establishment of its first-in-the-region automation academy to train, upskill, and foster Saudi talent.


Saudi Minister of Commerce Chairs 18th Session of Saudi-Egyptian Joint Committee

The meeting was chaired by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir. (SPA)
The meeting was chaired by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir. (SPA)
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Saudi Minister of Commerce Chairs 18th Session of Saudi-Egyptian Joint Committee

The meeting was chaired by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir. (SPA)
The meeting was chaired by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir. (SPA)

The 18th session of the Saudi-Egyptian Joint Committee concluded in Riyadh on Monday.

The meeting was chaired by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmed Samir.

Al-Qasabi stressed Saudi Arabia's keenness to strengthen trade relations with Egypt through the exchange of visits between the private sectors, holding trade exhibitions to promote opportunities and increase the Kingdom's exports to Egypt.

Trade volume between Riyadh and Cairo reached around $11.8 billion until November 2023, with metal products, plastics, and their derivatives being the most prominent commodities exported to Egypt. Metal products and fruits were recorded as the most notable imported commodities.

The 18th session of the Saudi-Egyptian Joint Committee aligns with the strategic approaches of the two countries that aim to address challenges through periodic meetings with concerned parties. These meetings follow up on the implementation of recommendations and oversee the committee's work.


Saudi Arabia Launches Program to Attract Local, Int’l Investments, Boost Role as Global Tourism Hub

The initiative aims to attract investments in the hospitality sector, with a value of approximately SAR 42 billion, projecting estimated revenues of about SAR 16 billion to the Kingdom's GDP by 2030. (SPA)
The initiative aims to attract investments in the hospitality sector, with a value of approximately SAR 42 billion, projecting estimated revenues of about SAR 16 billion to the Kingdom's GDP by 2030. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Launches Program to Attract Local, Int’l Investments, Boost Role as Global Tourism Hub

The initiative aims to attract investments in the hospitality sector, with a value of approximately SAR 42 billion, projecting estimated revenues of about SAR 16 billion to the Kingdom's GDP by 2030. (SPA)
The initiative aims to attract investments in the hospitality sector, with a value of approximately SAR 42 billion, projecting estimated revenues of about SAR 16 billion to the Kingdom's GDP by 2030. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb unveiled on Monday the Tourism Investment Enablers Program, designed to facilitate business practices and enhance investment attractiveness for both local and international investors.

As part of its ambitious program, the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment, announced the Hospitality Sector Investment Enablers Initiative. This initiative aims to increase and diversify tourism offerings, bolstering the capacity of hospitality facilities in targeted tourist destinations across the Kingdom.

The initiative aims to attract investments in the hospitality sector, with a value of approximately SAR 42 billion, projecting estimated revenues of about SAR 16 billion to the Kingdom's GDP by 2030.

Al-Khateeb stated: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia boasts rich and diverse tourism wealth, making its tourism industry globally attractive. Saudi Vision 2030 outlines our roadmap to becoming a sought-after global destination, recognizing the tourism sector as a key driver of the national economy."

"We witnessed a 390% increase in demand for tourism activity licenses last year, marking the beginning of the Kingdom's significant investment in the tourism sector over the next decade, providing opportunities and a conducive investment environment for both local and international investors," he added.

The initiative encompasses strategically prepared enablers to improve the cost and ease of doing business. These include facilitating access to government lands under favorable conditions, streamlining project development processes, finding solutions to investor challenges, and developing laws to reduce operational costs, fostering tourism industry growth.

The initiative is anticipated to yield numerous social and economic benefits, including an increase in the number of hotel rooms by approximately 42,000, creating around 120,000 job opportunities in targeted destinations by 2030. This will positively impact talent development and support nationalization efforts in the local job market.


Saudi Arabia: ROSHN Group Launches Sales of 4th Phase of Flagship Development 'SEDRA'

The new area will cover over 1.9 million square meters. SPA
The new area will cover over 1.9 million square meters. SPA
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Saudi Arabia: ROSHN Group Launches Sales of 4th Phase of Flagship Development 'SEDRA'

The new area will cover over 1.9 million square meters. SPA
The new area will cover over 1.9 million square meters. SPA

Saudi Arabia’s ROSHN Group announced on Monday the expansion of its popular "SEDRA" project in Riyadh with a new phase that adds 4,860 residential units.

The new area will cover over 1.9 million square meters and will be released in stages, with 1,254 units available for purchase in the first sale tranche, ROSHN Group said in a statement.

"The launch of sales for SEDRA 4 builds on the success of SEDRA’s first three phases and reflects the progress ROSHN has made in such a short period,” said ROSHN Group CEO David Grover.

“Meeting the unprecedented demand for ROSHN’s new way of living, SEDRA 4 blends modern, innovative, and sustainable design with unparalleled amenities, such as schools, a primary care hospital, and a district mall within a five-minute walk, to cultivate a vibrant community atmosphere."

According to the statement, SEDRA 4 has 4,860 new homes in its latest phase, featuring 30% of the phase’s footprint dedicated to public spaces. The latest expansion boasts the "Kingdom's largest Sports Dome" and includes amenities like green spaces, mosques and neighborhood retail centers.

Located north of SEDRA 3 and accessible via Airport Road, SEDRA 4 connects residents to ROSHN Front shopping, education, healthcare, and entertainment options, making it part of the vibrant North Riyadh area, near universities, the airport, and a train station, added the statement.


Bitcoin Bounces Beyond $64,000 as Records Beckon

FILE PHOTO: Physical representations of the bitcoin cryptocurrency are seen in this illustration taken October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Physical representations of the bitcoin cryptocurrency are seen in this illustration taken October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
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Bitcoin Bounces Beyond $64,000 as Records Beckon

FILE PHOTO: Physical representations of the bitcoin cryptocurrency are seen in this illustration taken October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Physical representations of the bitcoin cryptocurrency are seen in this illustration taken October 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Bitcoin scaled a two-year high on Monday, breaking $64,000 as a wave of money carried it within striking distance of record levels.
It touched $64,285 early in the Asian day, its highest since late 2021, and was last 2% firmer for the session at $63,850. Bitcoin's record high is $68,999.99 set in November 2021, Reuters reported.
The largest cryptocurrency by market value has gained 50% this year and most of the rise came in the last few weeks where trading volume has surged for US-listed bitcoin funds.
Spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds were approved in the United States earlier this year. Their launch opened the way for new large investors and has re-ignited enthusiasm and momentum reminiscent of the run up to record levels in 2021.
"The flows are not drying up as investors feel more confident the higher price appears to go," said Markus Thielen, head of research at crypto analytics house 10x Research in Singapore.
Smaller rival ether has hitched a ride on speculation that it too may soon have exchange-traded funds driving inflows. It's up 50% year-to-date though at $3,490 on Monday stayed just shy of two-year highs made last week.
The rally has come in tandem with records tumbling on stock indexes from Japan's Nikkei to the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq and with volatility gauges in equities and foreign exchange turning lower.
"In a world where Nasdaq is making new all-time highs, crypto is going to perform well as bitcoin remains a high-volatility tech proxy and liquidity thermometer," said Brent Donnelly, trader and president at analysis firm Spectra Markets.
"We are back to a 2021-style market where everything goes up and everyone is having fun."


NTP CEO: ‘National Transformation’ Makes Big Strides in Legislative Development in Saudi Arabia

CEO of the National Transformation Program (NTP) Thamir Al-Sadoun. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
CEO of the National Transformation Program (NTP) Thamir Al-Sadoun. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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NTP CEO: ‘National Transformation’ Makes Big Strides in Legislative Development in Saudi Arabia

CEO of the National Transformation Program (NTP) Thamir Al-Sadoun. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
CEO of the National Transformation Program (NTP) Thamir Al-Sadoun. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

CEO of the National Transformation Program (NTP) Thamir Al-Sadoun confirmed that the Kingdom is on track to achieve some of the Program’s goals before the turn of this decade.

“The National Transformation Program has achieved numerous milestones, with figures attesting to its success,” said Al-Sadoun in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat.

The program is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Reviewing figures, Al-Sadoun stressed that foreign investment licenses shot up by over 96% last year compared to 2022.

“More than 200 licenses were issued for international company regional centers,” he revealed.

As for the legal sector, the NTP focused on activating digital transformation in judicial services, and succeeded in raising the percentage of services provided electronically.

He noted that the Kingdom’s “Najiz platform offers over 160 judicial services, saving 65 million visits and conserving 90 million sheets of paper annually.”

Regarding the environment, Al-Sadoun said: “Over 192,000 hectares of vegetation cover have been restored in the Kingdom, increasing protected area coverage to 18.8% of the total area, up from 4.3% in 2016.”

On water systems, the “Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation’s desalinated water production capacity reached an unprecedented 11.5 million cubic meters per day, a global record,” according to Al-Sadoun.

Concerning food security, Al-Sadoun said: “The Kingdom now has the largest grain storage capacity in the Middle East, increasing from 2.5 million tons in 2016 to 3.5 million tons.”

With regard to the Kingdom’s digital experience, he revealed that “5G services have been extended to 97 provinces across the Kingdom, with over 6,000 government services now offered electronically.”

Al-Sadoun added that up-to-date achievements and more are detailed in NTP’s annual report, which is available online.

The CEO noted challenges in updating laws but mentioned significant progress with new regulations for business, disability rights, and the environment.

“The Kingdom’s leaders and the NTP’s committee, made up of 12 members including ministers and officials, provide unwavering support to Vision realization programs,” affirmed Al-Sadoun.

“This strong support has kept us moving forward during this ambitious journey, even during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he asserted.

“For instance, one challenge we faced was improving the legal framework to meet our goals and adopt best practices.”

“We've made significant progress by introducing laws like the Disability Rights Law, ensuring the rights of people with disabilities and promoting their inclusion in society.”

“We've also implemented laws like the Occupational Safety and Health Law and the Wage Protection System to improve working conditions for everyone,” added Al-Sadoun.

“Several other regulations and laws are also helping us achieve our targets for 2030,” he revealed.

With the Kingdom making real progress in global indicators, he highlighted how these achievements reflect Saudi Arabia’s future ambitions regarding its global standing and competitiveness.

“The Kingdom has made impressive strides in international indicators, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the NTP,” he reiterated.

“Saudi Arabia’s rise to 17th place globally and 3rd among G20 nations in the Global Competitiveness Report highlights the Kingdom’s major economic reforms aimed at boosting the private sector and attracting investments,” explained Al-Sadoun.

As for what’s next for the NTP, Al-Sadoun said: “We remain committed to achieving our goals and targets, launching initiatives with tangible impact.”

“This impact is realized by the sons and daughters of this nation, and we will continue working with all stakeholders within the framework of the NTP to realize Vision 2030 and beyond,” he added.


The World’s Eyes Turn to Riyadh for Launch of LEAP 24

The second edition of LEAP (SPA)
The second edition of LEAP (SPA)
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The World’s Eyes Turn to Riyadh for Launch of LEAP 24

The second edition of LEAP (SPA)
The second edition of LEAP (SPA)

LEAP24, the world’s largest technological exhibition, kicked off on Monday in Riyadh, with the participation of more than 1,800 international and local exhibitors, and more than 1,000 technical experts and 600 startup companies.

Organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, the exhibition, which runs from March 4 to 7, highlights the latest technology industries and unveils government AI initiatives and the newest innovations.

In its current edition, the conference has expanded the number of participants from major technical exhibitors in the world, in addition to the presence of an elite group of expert speakers and international companies.

The current version will see the participation of world tech giants, including Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Cisco, SAP, Amazon Web Services, Alibaba, Huawei, Ericsson, and others.

More than 30 government agencies are competing to showcase their advanced digital services, through the “Digital Saudi Arabia” exhibition, organized by the Digital Government Authority within the activities of LEAP 24, with the participation of many government and private agencies.

The event aims to enhance the Kingdom’s international position as an innovative digital environment, highlight success stories in the digital transformation journey, and its importance at the regional and international levels, in addition to unveiling the most prominent digital government services aimed at raising the quality of life and enhancing competitiveness.

The exhibition will see government agencies and national companies showcasing their digital products and services based on innovative models using emerging technologies, in addition to the signing of strategic agreements and the launching of new services, dialogue sessions for a number of ministers and officials, and workshops in the field of digital transformation.

The LEAP conference witnessed rapid developments over its years, as the total number of launches increased from $6.4 billion in the first edition to more than $9 billion in the second edition, while the number of attendees increased from 100,000 visitors in the first edition to more than 172,000 in the second year.