RIYADH: Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim will lead a senior Saudi delegation at the G20 Development Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia on Thursday, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
The two-day high-level forum, on the island of Belitung, is described as offering a platform for development ministers from G20 nations to reinvigorate the spirit of multilateralism and renew the momentum behind the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
They will also review the progress that has been made on plans and commitments agreed during the first Development Ministerial Meeting in Matera, Italy, last year.
“Saudi Arabia remains committed to advancing practical and collaborative solutions that would enable developed and developing economies alike to make tangible progress toward achieving the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) agenda,” Alibrahim said ahead of the meeting.
The G20 Development Ministerial Meeting (DMM) and High-Level Side Events will be held on 7–9 September 2022 in Belitung. The Meeting will invite G20 ministers to discuss the ongoing development challenges from their perspectives. #G20Indonesia #RecoverTogetherRecoverStronger pic.twitter.com/fAlmqDUFiu
— G20 Indonesia (@g20org) September 7, 2022
“We must take this moment to raise the bar on our sustainable development and strengthen global systems by improving public health care infrastructure, enabling inclusive digital transformations, and safeguarding global food and energy security, as well as protecting the environment, investing in the energy system of today and exploring greener, cleaner fuels for the future.”
The Kingdom’s delegation will highlight Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to driving sustainable development, locally and globally, through its agile approach to policy-making across all economic, social and environmental sectors.
With less than a decade left during which to achieve the aims of the UN’s SDGs, Alibrahim will showcase Saudi Arabia’s progress so far in achieving sustainable economic growth, social welfare and prosperity, environmental protection, and an inclusive digital transformation as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 national development and diversification agenda.
He will also stress the importance of safeguarding global energy security by ensuring access to reliable and sustainable sources of power.
He praised the efforts of the Indonesian government, which holds the presidency of the G20 for 2022, in organizing the group’s meetings this year and added: “We look forward to deepening relations with our partners to enhance global cooperation in our endeavors to achieve the SDGs.”
RIYADH: Dubai carrier Emirates is all set to invest $350 million to equip its 50-strong fleet of A350s with inflight entertainment systems.
According to a press release, the airline has selected the new Thales’ AVANT Up system for its incoming Airbus A350 aircraft for its incoming fleet which is scheduled for delivery in 2024.
The press release noted that the new inflight entertainment systems will provide a memorable cinematic and personalized passenger experience.
“Emirates has always regarded inflight entertainment as an essential aspect of our onboard experience, and we were in fact the first airline to put personal screens onto every single seat onboard when that was far from the norm over 30 years ago,” said Adel al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer.
He added: “Our investment in next-generation Thales systems for our new A350 fleet will further our lead, enabling us to deliver even better experiences to our customers.”
The new entertainment system from Thales is expected to provide an enhanced ‘live’ television offering that provides a broader choice of live television and news in the highest available definition, the carrier added.
According to the press release, the entertainment system will provide 5,000 channels of multi-language content including live TV, movies, TV shows and music hits, along with the world’s first inflight shopping channel.
“At Thales we are proud to partner with Emirates in their mission to Fly Better. Thales’ AVANT Up brings to Emirates the latest consumer technologies and capabilities to the aircraft,” said Yannick Assouad, executive vice president, Thales Avionics.
Emirates is also the first airline in the world to use Thales’ Pulse, a power management technology that will make charging performance unaffected no matter how many users are charging their devices at the same time.
Earlier in August, Emirates revealed that it is investing over $2 billion to boost its inflight customer experience.
According to a statement issued by the airline carrier, the investment includes a program to retrofit over 120 aircraft with the latest interiors, in addition to an array of other service improvements across all cabins starting in 2022.
LONDON: Italian energy giant Eni will support Europe’s push to divert from Russian oil and gas supplies by promoting liquefied national gas works in the Middle East and North Africa and banking on gas riches in the eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at the Gastech conference in Milan on Tuesday, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Guido Brusco said Eni “plans to fully replace Russian gas by 2025 helped by east Med fields.”
Eni’s Deputy COO Cristian Signoretto added that the company would also invest up to $4.5 billion every year for the next three years to develop projects in several MENA locations, such as Qatar, Egypt and Algeria.
Signoretto said that Eni is “fully committed to invest $4.5 billion per annum in the upstream to bring on line new gas supplies,” with a special focus on LNG projects in Africa and the Middle East.
Energy news site OilPrice.com reported that Eni would double its Algerian gas imports to 18 billion cubic meters per year by 2024, adding that eastern Mediterranean operations would also be crucial to Eni’s strategy to divert from Russian energy supplies.
Eni and French giant TotalEnergies announced in late August a major gas discovery in a well off the coast of Cyprus, which could have up to 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The major find comes after Eni’s 2018 exploration activities in the same block unveiled another well, which is an extension of Egypt’s huge Zohr gas fields.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ultra-luxury development project AMAALA, which is being developed by The Red Sea Development Co., has signed over 300 contracts worth over SR6.62 billion ($1.7 billion) to date, according to a press release.
TRSDC revealed that more than 98 percent of the total contracts have been awarded to Saudi firms, which indicates the company’s commitment to strengthening the local economy.
The press release noted that contracts worth an additional SR6.1 billion are currently out of tender across 54 proposals.
“Surpassing 300 contract awards underscores the scale of this project and the significant progress being made as we press ahead with activity on the ground to bring our destination to life,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC.
He added: “As we transform our regenerative commitments into concrete actions, the destination will undoubtedly be an important stepping stone to redefining tourism in the region and beyond.”
AMAALA is one of the most ambitious projects in Saudi Arabia which spans over 4,155 sq. km. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2024, with eight hotels and 1,200 hotel keys.
Upon its full completion in 2027, it will offer approximately 3,000 rooms across 25 hotels as well as high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness, and recreational facilities.
The AMAALA project is also expected to create 50,000 new direct, indirect, and induced jobs for Saudis, as well as contribute more than SR11 billion to the country’s gross domestic product once fully operational.
Earlier in June, during an exclusive interaction with Arab News, Ahmad Darwish, chief administrative officer at TRSDC and AMAALA, said that both Red Sea Project and AMAALA are year-round tourist destinations.
“Summer, winter, spring or autumn, you name it; it will be a year-round destination,” said Darwish.
He also said TRSDC and AMAALA are now spearheading a journey beginning from sustainability to reaching regenerative tourism.
“We’re moving away from sustainability to regenerative tourism. It’s not just keeping things as it is. It’s improving the situation. We’re trying to do better things for the environment and habitats,” Darwish told Arab News.
RIYADH: Inflation in Egypt rose to a four-year high in August mainly driven by a rise in food and beverage prices.
The annual inflation rate in the North African country rose to 15.3 percent compared to 6.4 percent in the same month of 2021, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
Last July, the annual inflation rate was recorded at 14.6 percent. Annual urban consumer inflation rose to 14.6 percent year-on-year in August, up from 13.6 percent year-on-year in July, official data showed.
The inflation figures came in line with investment banks’ estimates, which expected it to range between 14.4 percent and 14.6 percent on an annual basis, according to Asharq.
Youssef El-Banna, a financial analyst at Naeem Capital, said the rise “is due to the increase in the prices of vegetables, grains and oils,” Asharq reported.
“This is the highest level of inflation in Egypt’s cities since November 2018, when the figures reached 15.7 percent,” he added.
In July 2022, the Egyptian government raised the price of diesel for the first time since July 2019, by about 50 piasters to 7.25 Egyptian pounds per liter.
The hike in diesel price was expected to push inflation in the country to new levels. The country has also seen prices of all three types of gasoline rise six times.
The Central Bank of Egypt on Monday sold three-month treasury bills at an all-time high value, amounting to 61.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.2 billion), in an auction.
The central bank data revealed that banks and institutions offered an amount of 170.8 billion Egyptian pounds for the short-term bills in the tender, according to Arabic newspaper Asharq.
The bank issues periodic weekly bids on behalf of the Ministry of Finance in order to finance the country’s general budget deficit.
This happens as the world’s largest wheat importer is intensifying its efforts to confront the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Egypt has been hit hard by the soaring oil and commodity prices, with the Egyptian pound devaluing against the dollar.
CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed with Odile Renaud Basso, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, ways to enhance cooperation.
During the meeting, El-Sisi praised the distinguished relations between Egypt and the EBRD in light of the bank’s role as a partner in Egypt’s development in recent years.
El-Sisi expressed his hopes to explore more areas of cooperation with the EBRD in light of the comprehensive development process that is being implemented in the country at the economic and social levels, especially in clean energy and support for the transition to a green economy.
The pair discussed “ways to enhance cooperation with the EBRD and working on increasing its contribution to financing projects implemented in Egypt, in light of the endorsement of the new strategy for cooperation between Egypt and the bank, particularly in new and renewable energy projects,” the presidential spokesman said.
The meeting was attended by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and Rania Al-Mashat, Cairo’s minister of international cooperation, who announced a new cooperation strategy between the EBRD and Egypt until 2027 in March.
Odile affirmed the bank’s pride at its close relations with Egypt and its various financial institutions, and its keenness to enhance cooperation with Cairo, especially with regard to financing green transformation projects.
Ahead of her visit to Egypt, Odile said: “Egypt is an energy superpower for the new world emerging from the green transition,” according to the EBRD site.
“This creates huge opportunities to shift away from reliance on gas, and to open up new industries such as desalination, green hydrogen, green fertilizer or green steel,” she added.
Last month, the EBRD and Hyundai Rotem joined together to improve the practical abilities of young Egyptians by offering certified training in the upkeep of transportation equipment and rolling stock.