RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Transforming the Saudi General Investment Authority (SAGIA) into an independent ministry represents a fundamental shift in the national economy.
Such a move would diversify production and attract qualitative investments, according to an economist and member of the Saudi Shura Council.
Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that SAGIA will become the Ministry of Investment, led by former Energy Minister Khalid al – Falish.
Shura member Saeed al-Sheikh told reporters that the decision to convert SAGIA into a ministry is important, strategic, and in line with the directions of Vision 2030. It will give the Authority additional powers enjoyed by ministries to increase its effectiveness in attracting local and international investments.
Sheikh believes that there is an urgent need for horizontal diversification in light of the information boom and the fourth industrial revolution, pointing out that transforming the authority into a ministry aims to attract more qualitative investments that achieve high added value and also create job opportunities.
In addition, the investment sector will be separated from the Ministry of Commerce in a step that confirms the seriousness of the Saudi objective to diversify the economy, involved the private sector in development, and attract more investments that add value to the national economy.
The step also comes within the framework of promoting the government’s performance and pushing it to achieve the goals and initiatives of Vision 2030.
Vision 2030 is based on three axes: A prosperous economy, an ambitious state, and a vibrant society, in order for Saudi Arabia to be a pioneer in investment.
SAGIA sought to attract and enable qualitative investments for sustainable development, as the authority worked to monitor and evaluate the performance of investments and overcome difficulties facets by investors. If has carried out studies, and presented and proposed implementation plans with a view to promoting investments within Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 986 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 530,981 on Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced. Of the new cases, 189 were detected in the city of Mecca, 177 in the capital Riyadh and 162 in the Easter Region. The Kingdom’s COVID-19 related death toll increased … More Saudi Arabia’s New COVID – 19 Cases Drop Below 1,000
Greek authorities ordered more evacuations on an island near Athens on Thursday and battled a blaze near the site of the ancient Olympic Games in the western Peloponnese as wildfires burned for a third day. Temperatures of more than 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and strong winds have fanned more than 150 wildfires in different areas … More Greece Battles Wildfires For Third Day, Site Of Ancient Olympics Saved
Germany plans to give vulnerable people a COVID-19 vaccine booster in September, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, ignoring a World Health Organisation appeal to refrain from giving third doses while poor countries remain unvaccinated. ‘The possibility of a booster vaccine in September is intended to ensure that those who are particularly at risk are … More Germany To Give COVID Vaccine Boosters To Vulnerable Groups In September
French President Emmanuel Macron said on his Instagram account on Thursday that it was likely that the elderly and vulnerable would need a third COVID-19 vaccine shot, and that France was working on rolling these out from September onwards. ‘A third dose will likely be necessary, not for everyone straightaway, but in any case for … More French President Macron: Third COVID Vaccine Doses Likely For Elderly And Vulnerable
Israeli jets struck what its military said were rocket launch sites in Lebanon early on Thursday in response to two rockets fired towards Israel from Lebanese territory, in an escalation of cross – border hostilities amid heightened tensions with Iran. The rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck open areas in northern Israel, causing brush … More Israeli Aircraft Strike Rocket Launch Sites In Lebanon, Military Says
Oman provides first official confirmation on Wednesday that the Asphalt Princess tanker was involved in a hijacking in the Arabian Sea after Britain’s maritime trade agency earlier reported the incident was over. Three maritime security forces had told Reuters on Tuesday that the Asphalt Princess tanler had neem seized by suspected Iranian – backed forces, … More Oman Confirms Asphalt Princess Tanker Had Been Hijacked in Arabian Sea
Saudi Arabia will only allow entry to travelers who where vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines if they received a booster shot from one of the four approved vaccines in the Kingdom, according to the country’s e-visa portal. The vaccines that are currently recognized by the Kingdom are: Oxford – AstraZeneca, Pfizer – BioBTech, Moderna, … More Saudi Arabia Permits Entry With Sinopharm, Sinovac Vaccines After Booster Shot
Iranian – backed forces are believed to have seized an oil tanker in the Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, three maritime security sources said, after Britain’s maritime trade agency reported a ‘potential hujack’ in the area on Tuesday. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied that Iranian forces or allies were involved in action … More Iran – Backed Forces Seize Tanker, Maritime Sources Say; Iran Denies It
Britain’s Rolls – Royce is in advanced talks to sell its Norweigian maritime engine – maker Bergen to UK – based engineering group Langley Holdings, a source close to the matter said, ensuring a disposal plan continues to progress. Rolls – Royce is aiming to raise 2 billion pounds from disposals by 2022 as part … More Rolls – Royce To Sell Norweigian Engine Unit To UK’s Langley Holdings
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he sees an emboldened Iran acting in a negative manner around the Middle East, endangering shipping, arming Yemen’s Houthis and contibuting to political deadlock in Lebanon. ‘All around the region, Iran continues to be emboldened’, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a U.S. think … More Saudi Arabia Says Sees An Emboldened Iran Around Middle East
The United Arab Emirates and China agreed to share intelligence to fight money loundering and terrorism financing, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE central bank said on Tuesday. It said it would exchange information with its counterpart, the China Anti – Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Centre, on investigations intro transactions related to money … More UAE, China To Cooperate Against Money Lundering, Terrorism Financing
The United Arab Emirates will lift a ban on transit passenger traffic from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and other countries from Aug.5, the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) said on Tuesday. The UAE, a major international travel hub, has banned passengers from many South Asian and African countries for several months due to the … More UAE Lifts Ban On Transit Flights From India, Pakistan, Others: NCEMA
All students must receive their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine before August 8 to ensure that they are fully vaccinated before the start of the new academic term, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health said on Monday. ‘The ministry emphasizes the need for all male and female students to receive the first dose of the … More Students In Saudi Arabia Must Receive First COVID – 19 Vaccine Dose Before Aug 8
Most stocks markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Monday, with banks boosting the Saudi index, while the Abu Dhabi bourse was hit by declines in Etisalat shares. Saudi Arabi’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.9% and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.2%. Al Rajhi Bank … More MIDEAST STOCKS Saudi Gains On Banking Boost; Etisalat Drags Abu Dhabi Lower
The Saudi Public Prosecution office has warned it will impose fines of up to SR500,000 ($133,323) on passengers breaching travel ban restrictions by boarding flights to countries hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation. In a tweet on Sunday, officials added that … More Saudi Arabia To Fine Air Passengers Up to SR 500K For Covid – 19 Travel Ban Breaches
France has now added Bahrain to its list of green countries, starting August 1, Bahrain state news reported on Saturday. Vaccinated Bahrain residents wishing to travel to France will need to provide a proof of vaccination status, a declaration attesting that they are experiencing no Covid-19 symptoms, and that they have not been in contact … More France Puts Bahrain On Covid – 19 Green List, Effective Immediately
Saudi Arabia will officially reopen its borders to foreign tourists and lift off the suspension of entry tourist visa holders starting August 1, the Kingdom’s tourism ministry announced. Fully vacinated tourists can enter the Kingdom without the need for an institutional quarantine period, provided that an official vaccination certificate is presented upon arrival, and proof … More Saudi Arabia To Open For Tourist Visa Holders Starting AUG 1 – Tourism Ministry
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is not President Valadimir Putin’s ‘cashier’ nor did he buy Chelsea FC as a vehicle to corrupt the West, his lawyer told England’s High Court in a defamation hearing over a book about Putin’s Russia. In the 2020 book, British journalist Catherina Belton chronicle Putin’s rise to power and how many … More Russia’s Abramovich Denies Buying Chelsea For Putin, Court Hears
Qatar’s emir approved laws on Thursday for the Gulf Arab state’s first legislative election in October, which will see Qataris elect two – thirds of the advisory Shura Council, his office said. The election, plans for which were first approved in a 2003 constitutional referendum, comes ahead of the capital Doha hosting the World Cup … More Qatar’s Emir Approves Electoral Law For First Legislative Polls
Oman on Thursday extended a nightly locdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, with movement and commercial activities to be restricted between 10 P.M. and 4 A.M. until further notice, the government said. Cases in the country of around 4.5 million people, which has continued to impose movement and commercial restrictions on and off … More Oman Extends Nightly COVID – 19 Lockdown
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al – Thani appealed to all parties in the current political crisis in Tunisia to adopt a path of dialogue in a phone call with Tunisian President Kais Said on Wednesday, the emir’s office sai.d The emir also stressed ‘the importance of fixing foundations of the state of institutions … More Qatar Emir Appeals To All Parties In Tunisia Political Crisis To Pursue Dialogue
Saudi Arabia’s air defenses have intercepted and destroyed an explosive – laden drone launched by the Iran – backed Houthis towards the Kingdom’s southern region, according to the Arab Coalition. Hours earlier, the Arab Coalition said it had intercepted multiple missiles targeting the southern city of Jazan. The Houtis continue to target civilians and civilian … More Arab Coalition Intercepts An Explosive Houthi Drone Targeting Southern Region
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday discussed how to ease COVID – 19 travel restrictions, which have stranded around 400,000 Pakistani workers back home, foreign ministers of the two countries told reporters. Islamabad took up the issue with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who is on a one – day visit … More Pakistan, Saudi Arabia To Work On Easing Travel Restrictions
Kuwait on Tuesday said only citizens who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus will be allowed to travel abroad starting on Aug.1. A government statement said the rule excepted children under age of 16, those with a health ministry certificate saying they cannot be vaccinated, and pregnant women who have a pregnancy proof certificate from … More Kuwait Bans Unvaccinated Citizens From Travelling Abroad
The Arab Coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed on Wednesday two ballistic missiles launched by the Iran – backed Houthi militia towards Saudi Arabia’s Jizan. The Houthis continue to target civilians and civilian objects, the Arab Coalition said. The coalition added that it would be taking the operational measures to protect civilians from Houthis’ … More Arab Coalition Intercepts, Destroyed Houthi Missile Launched Towards Jizan
Saudi Arabia’s Culture Ministry on Tuesday said it issed 149 additional scholarship, which will provide specialized learning opportunities for Saudi male and female students at prominent international institutions. It is part of the ministry’s cultural scholarship program. Female students dominate the new batch of scholarships at 74 percent. The ministry said so far 50 percent … More Saudi Culture Ministry Issues 149 More Scholarships
Saudi Arabia has suspended the privatisation of the Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant, one of a number of state assets that the government aimed to sell to reduce pressure on capital spending and diversify. revenues away from oil. ‘This decision was made in order to capitalise on knowledge and capacity built in the … More Saudi Arabia Suspends Privatisation Of Desalination And Power Plant
Saudi Arabia will ban its citizens from traveling abroad for 3 years if they break COVID – 19 travel rules, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. There have been reports of citizens traveling to prohibited countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency, which led authorities to impose a travel ban for 3 years in … More Saudi Arabia To Ban Citizens Who Break COVID Travel Rules From Traveling For 3 Years
Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about fuel demand from the spread of COVID-19 variants and floods in China offset expectations of thight supplies though the rest of the year. Brent crude future for September fell 44 cents, or 0.6% to $73.66 a barrel by 0432GMT while U.S. Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.62 … More Oil Prices Fall As Coronavirus, Floods Threaten Demand
Abu Dhabi will reduce business setup fees to 1,000 dirham ($272.27), a 94% reudction from current rates, effective from July 27, as part of efforts to enable the private sector, Abu Dhabi media office said on Sunday. Licence renewal for existing business owners have also been reduced to 1,000 dirham. Federal charges for business set … More Abu Dhabi Reduces Business Setup Fees By 94% From Current Rates – Media Office