Riyadh hosts GCC-Central Asia Investment Forum with Kuwait partaking

The GCC and Central Asia Investment Forum was hosted, on Wednesday, by the Saudi capital of Riyadh, with Kuwaiti Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment Dr. Anwar Al-Mudhaf’s participation.

Delivering an inaugural speech in the forum, Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih stressed the necessity of exploiting natural resources and reserves in Central Asia countries to address challenges facing the world’s countries.

He touched upon historical and cultural relations between the GCC and Central Asia states to pave the way for investment strategic dialogue and find different channels to increase commerce in all domains.

He elaborated that the Central Asia countries have fertile land that will enable them to exploit agricultural development and rivers to be invested in producing hydroelectric energy, in addition to vast areas for wind energy.

Al-Falih noted that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have large reserves of oil and gas, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan ow
n reserves of gold and minerals as well as Kazakhstan enjoy the largest reserves of uranium in the world, which is an important element in non-carbon energy.

Speaking to KUNA in a statement, Al-Mudhaf said the forum is an opportunity to enhance Gulf strategic partnerships with the world’s countries, and open wider doors for investment through enhancing communication between the public and private sectors of the GCC and Central Asian states.

He thanked Saudi Arabia for hospitality and warm reception, lauding development in the Kingdom over the last years, under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Furthermore, Assistant Director General of Kuwait’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Imad Al-Zaid said, in a similar statement to KUNA that, the chamber is participating in the forum to meet with representatives of the private and public sectors, and discuss how to enhance bilateral cooperation and communication for broader opportunities and investment.

The aim of part
icipation is to find new horizons of cooperation, he said, considering the forum a chance to learn about available opportunities in the participating states.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Gitex Africa opens in Marrakech, with Gulf participation

The 2nd edition of Gitex Africa Morocco kicked off in Marrakech on Wednesday, with the participation of over 1,500 exhibitors from more than 130 countries, including Gulf ones.

In a keynote speech addressing this year’s edition, which focuses on innovation and digitalization, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch said digital transformation marks a core catalyst for economic and social development, especially for the African continent.

He added that digitalization would add USD 712 billion to Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, which shows stupendous potential for spurring growth and triggering continental transformation, citing a recently issued World Bank report in this regard.

The Moroccan prime minister underlined that digitalization could introduce tangible solutions to challenges the African continent is facing, stimulate development, and provide a congenial atmosphere for deepening pan-African integration.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Kuwait Audit Bureau underlines importance of governance

Undersecretary of the Kuwait State Audit Bureau (SAB) Yousef Al-Mazrouei underscored the importance of establishing governance principles and contributing to the development of preventive oversight mechanisms that help predict future events and implement necessary proactive measures to confront them.

In his statement on the sidelines of the “Internal Audit: Leadership and Sustainability” forum organized by the bureau on Wednesday, Al-Mazrouei emphasized that numerous variables that have resulted in economic impacts require collaborative efforts to address them.

The bureau is committed to enhancing and developing cooperation with all entities under its supervision to ensure the proper conduct of financial and accounting work and the fulfillment of their tasks, he explained.

On his side, Director of Internal Audit Department at the Audit Bureau Dr. Adnan Al-Hasan stated that the forum aims to improve the efficiency of internal auditing within the bureau and the entities it oversees.

The forum also aims to e
xchange experiences between internal audit offices and government entities, transfer expertise between the public and private sectors, and raise awareness among all government entities about the significance of internal auditing, Al-Hasan added.

SAB has trained over 300 internal auditors in government entities and qualified about 35 trainers across governments to enhance the efficiency and train internal auditors to perform their duties, he noted.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Kuwait, Saudi ministers discuss investment coop.

Kuwait’s Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Dr Anwar Al-Mudhaf explored on Wednesday, with his Saudi counterpart Khaled Al-Faleh strengthening cooperation in the economic and investment fields.

In a statement to KUNA, Al-Mudhaf said that both sides agreed during a meeting after their participation in the GCC and Central Asia Investment Forum, on the importance of strengthening mutual investments between both countries.

They also discussed Kuwait’s upcoming big projects, including Mubarak Port, Failaka Island, the GCC railway project and the Kuwait-Saudi railway link, as well as various other topics of common interest.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

S. Korea, UAE forge comprehensive economic partnership pact

South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) freeing up trade between the two countries Wednesday, as UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a state visit to Seoul, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of intent calling for South Korea to build at least six liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers worth some USD 1.5 billion, while the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund and companies reaffirmed their commitment to invest a combined USD 30 billion in South Korea, the report said.

The CEPA is a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes a broader scope of economic cooperation and exchanges in addition to market opening, which requires parliamentary ratification to take effect.

The UAE is the first Arab nation to sign a free trade deal with South Korea. Under the agreement, the two countries will lift tariffs on more than 90 percent of most goods, including cars, auto parts and defense items, over the next 1
0 years. It also includes provisions for opening cultural services and the online game market, according to the report.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office said the UAE president’s visit upgraded the two nations’ special strategic partnership to a new level to advance economic cooperation in a wide range of areas.

Al Nahyan arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a two-day state visit to discuss ways to deepen cooperation in trade and investment in a wide range of areas. He is the first UAE president to make a state visit to South Korea.

During Wednesday’s talks attended by senior government and state-run companies, the two sides signed 19 business deals and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) encompassing investment, energy, nuclear power, defense, technology, climate change and cultural exchanges. Specific areas of investment and defense deals were not disclosed due to requests from the UAE side, according to Seoul officials.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

MOCI, Qatar Tourism Announce New, Expedited Licensing Initiative for Qatar’s Hospitality, Tourism Sectors

Doha: The Tourism Licensing Department at Qatar Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) announced a joint initiative that facilitates qualitative licensing procedures for tourism establishments and businesses. This includes seasonal discounts, festival-specific discounts, loyalty customer discounts, promotional offers, and special deals. This initiative allows establishments to adhere to all regulations and legal procedures to ensure the safety and smoothness of the licensing issuance process.

This collaborative initiative aims to simplify and expedite Qualitative Licensing Services procedures for granting hotel and tourism establishments, to stimulate the tourism sector. MOCI and QT aim to restrict the challenges that entities in the sector face when applying for promotional and price reduction offers licenses, as well as the procedures for festivals, events and exhibition licensing. As part of the collaboration, it was agreed to issue a one -fee annual license that includ
es all offers and discounts offered by hotels, to be announced through their marketing plans. Visit Qatar, the main arm of Qatar Tourism, announced that it will handle the application process for the single- license on behalf of entities and individuals participating in festivals, and events, which will contribute to streamlined procedures and enhanced cooperation between various entities within the sector.

This procedure safeguards businesses, expands industry opportunities, and allows for a more optimal and safe tourism experience for visitors. In addition, there are streamlined and expedited qualitative licensing services which will come into effect this month.

On this occasion, Hassan Sultan Al Ghanim, Assistant Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, expressed his delight for launching this initiative in collaboration with Qatar Tourism, stressing that “this was introduced to facilitate the procedures for obtaining specific licenses for tourism and hospitality esta
blishments, where obtaining the license would take one business day, with the prerequisite that all terms and conditions are met and the required documents submitted, this would have a direct positive impact on the entire sectors value chain. The tourism sector has been identified as one of the key sectors in the countrys economy, which contributes to attracting investments and increasing the revenues.” He added: “This initiative comes within the framework of the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to develop the business environment and facilitate business ventures in the country, and to establish an encouraging investment environment for entrepreneurs and investors. It is important to shed light on the Ministrys keenness to consolidate collaborations with various relevant government entities with the aim to facilitate and streamline procedures for granting the necessary approvals and licenses to establish a business.” Commenting on the initiative, Omar Al Jaber, Acting Chief of the Tourism Deve
lopment Sector at Qatar Tourism, said: “The new licensing initiative by Qatar Tourism and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry aims to enhance tourism offerings across relevant businesses and provide necessary protection for the activities of these establishments. Thus, providing the sector the flexibility to intensify its efforts by launching promotional campaigns that revive their work as well as provide tourists opportunities to enjoy attractive offerings, enhancing visitors experience. This initiative reflects Qatar Tourisms commitment to develop and expand the reach of the tourism sector in the country, by including more tourism and hospitality businesses and focus on being comprehensive with its licensing protocol and elevating the efficacy and transparency of key services.” Qatar Tourism is committed to collaborating with private and public stakeholders to facilitate licensing processes, enhancing the ease of access for tourism establishments, and revitalizing the sector. Continuous improvement in Qat
ar Tourisms licensing landscape aims to alleviate challenges faced by hotels, reduce financial strain during off-peak seasons, and offset application barriers. By continuously improving the tourism landscape, Qatar aims to encourage investment both locally and internationally, fostering sustainable growth in the sector.

The two main goals of this collaborative initiative are to protect the interests of businesses and maintain high quality licensing standards to uphold the reputation of the tourism sector.

Source: Qatar News Agency