Saudi Arabia launches National Transport and Logistics Strategy

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Updated 01 July 2021
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Saudi Arabia launches National Transport and Logistics Strategy

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced details of the ambitious program, which aims to position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub
  • ‘It will enhance the connection with the global economy,” he said, and help to diversify ‘our economy by establishing an advanced logistics-services industry’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday launched his country’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy.

The comprehensive program aims to position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three continents, and improve all transport services in support of Saudi Vision 2030.

A host of game-changing projects are planned to help achieve the strategy’s economic and social goals, along with improved governance to enhance the work of the organizations involved. It also reflects the renaming of the Ministry of Transport as the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services.

“This strategy will strengthen human and technical capabilities in the transport and logistics sector in the Kingdom,” the crown price said.

“It will enhance the connection with the global economy and enable our country to invest its geographical position, in the middle of three continents, in diversifying our economy by establishing an advanced logistics-services industry, building high-quality systems of services, and applying competitive business models to enhance productivity and sustainability in the logistics sector.

“Transport and logistics are a major focus of the programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and a vital enabling factor for economic sectors toward sustainable development.”

He added that areas covered by the strategy include the development of infrastructure, the launch of a number of platforms and logistics zones in the Kingdom, the implementation of advanced operating models and systems, and the building and enhancement of effective partnerships between the government and the private sector.

It has four main goals: to transform Saudi Arabia into a logistics hub; boost the quality of life across the country; enhance fiscal sustainability; and improve the performance of public entities. Crown Prince Mohammed said that the strategy also aims to move Saudi Arabia into fifth place globally in terms of number of transit passengers, increase the number of international destinations served by the country to more than 250, and launch a new national air carrier. The successful implementation of these projects will help other sectors, such as Hajj, Umrah and tourism, to achieve their own goals for improvement and growth.

The new strategy also seeks to improve the capabilities of the air cargo sector by doubling its capacity to more than 4.5 million tons.

Regarding the plans for maritime transport, the crown prince said: “The strategy enables us to reach a capacity of more than 40 million containers annually.” He added that it includes associated investments in developing port infrastructure and enhancing integration with the logistics sector, as well as expanding connectivity with international shipping lines and improving integration with rail and road networks, which will contribute “to improving the efficiency of the transport ecosystem and its economics.”

He said that the Kingdom’s railways currently provide passenger and freight services through a network of 5,330 kilometers of track, 450km of which is the Haramain high-speed railway between Mecca and Madinah, the largest high-speed transport project in the region.

The new strategy will increase the total length of the rail network to an estimated 8,080km. It includes a “land bridge” project that will span more than 1,300km and connect the Kingdom’s ports on the coast of the Arabian Gulf with those on the Red Sea coast. It will have the capacity to transport more than 3 million passengers and 50 million tons of freight annually, opening up new opportunities in the areas it passes through.

It is hoped that it will improve the Kingdom’s logistics performance index so that it ranks among the top 10 countries in the world. By providing an open market for operators and investors in railways, it aims to encourage interconnection between Arab Gulf states and position the Kingdom as an influential force in the regional and international transport economies.

The crown prince stressed that the strategy builds on important existing pillars, such as the Kingdom’s road network, which provides a high level of connectivity that compares well with global benchmarks.

The new strategy aims to position the Kingdom among the most advanced countries in terms of road quality and safety. To achieve this, it includes initiatives designed to reduce the number of road-traffic accidents, implement the best global practices, achieve efficient connectivity, and develop public transport in Saudi cities.

In addition there are environmental goals, including enhanced sustainability, a reduction in fuel consumption by 25 percent, and the provision of smart solutions to transport challenges through the adoption of cutting-edge and innovative global technologies.

One of the main objectives of the strategy, the crown prince noted, is to increase the contribution of the transport and logistics sector to national gross domestic product from the current 6 percent to 10 percent. This will help to fuel business growth, expand investments, and increase the sector’s non-oil revenues to about SR 45 billion ($12 billion) a year by 2030, he said.

“We are proud of the achievements made under the leadership of (King Salman),” said the crown prince. “And we plan to move forward to achieve more leaps that benefit our country and advance its leading position in the world by increasing efforts and achieving more successes supported by our highly ambitious people.

“We are all confident in our ability to achieve national goals following the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.”


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.


Shoura Council arrives in Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum

Updated 25 May 2024
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Shoura Council arrives in Algiers for Arab parliamentary forum

  • The conference will be held in Algiers on May 26-27
  • Al-Sheikh said that the Shoura Council’s participation in the conference stems from the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting joint Arab action

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, Speaker of the Saudi Shoura Council, has arrived in the Algerian to lead the Kingdom’s delegation to the 36th Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The conference will be held in Algiers on May 26-27, and will be attended by heads of parliaments and councils from Arab countries.

Al-Sheikh was received by Brahim Boughali, President of the Algerian National People’s Assembly and President of the 36th session of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union; Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Busairi, the Saudi Ambassador to Algeria, and other officials upon his arrival at Houari-Boumediene International Airport,

In an earlier statement, Al-Sheikh said that the Shoura Council’s participation in the conference stems from the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting joint Arab action, and its continued interest in establishing security, stability, and peace in Arab countries and the world.

The council seeks to support official diplomacy by taking part in regional and international parliamentary meetings and conferences, or through reciprocal visits to enhance parliamentary cooperation with various parliaments around the world, he said.

A consultative meeting between heads of parliaments before the conference will discuss several topics to be presented by its permanent committees, the Palestine Committee; the Social Affairs, Women, Children, and Youth Committee; and the Political Affairs and Parliamentary Relations Committee.

The Shoura Council delegation includes council member and member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Bandar bin Mohammed Asiri, council members Issa bin Mohammed Al-Issa and Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, and several council staff members.


Saudi entrepreneur converts farm into a tourism attraction in Al-Baha

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi entrepreneur converts farm into a tourism attraction in Al-Baha

  • Al-Barouqi Tourist Farm owner Ahmed Al-Barouqi rehabilitated the farm while preserving its agricultural terraces, famous trees and old wells
  • The farm is enjoying a surge in demand due to recent rainfall, the pristine atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area

AL-BAHA: A farmer in Al-Mandaq Governorate has turned his passion and hobby into a thriving tourism project.

Ahmed Al-Barouqi, who owns Al-Barouqi Tourist Farm in the governorate, northwest of Al-Baha, takes advantage of the mild climate and natural beauty of the area, including its agricultural terraces, historic village and picturesque valley, to attract visitors.  

With a mild climate and natural beauty of the area, the farm has become a tourist attraction.  (SPA)

The Saudi Press Agency interviewed Al-Barouqi, the young farmer in Al-Tarf, Wadi Rusba, behind Al-Barouqi Tourist Farm.

“My relationship with agriculture spans over 27 years, having grown up in a family surrounded by farms,” he said. “This inspired me to invest in the farm in Al-Tarf village, where we have fond childhood memories of planting grape, almond and fruit trees.

“I was determined to create a rural tourism investment model that harmonizes with the region’s natural features and moderate climate, providing a unique experience for visitors to the province,” he added.

Al-Barouqi said he rehabilitated the farm while preserving its agricultural terraces, famous trees and old wells. He created paved paths and seating areas and opened scenic views of the adjacent valley by adding seating areas.

Popular dishes, including tannour bread, coffee, and tea are offered to visitors in the farm. (SPA)

He also offers popular dishes, including tannour bread, coffee, and tea.

He highlighted the success of implementing drip irrigation for strawberry crops, which aligns with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. This initiative has added value to the farm and its visitors, creating new agricultural investment opportunities and promoting a diverse agricultural culture. By diversifying products and experimenting with various crops, the farm aims to achieve self-sufficiency in producing crops for local markets.

Fruits are abundant in the farm. (SPA)

Al-Barouqi said: “Farming has created over 20 seasonal job opportunities for young men and women in the region and established sites for productive families.

“We have a comprehensive development plan and vision for the farm that includes agricultural, recreational and investment aspects. Investing in this sector results in pioneering commercial projects that provide a distinctive tourism experience in the Al-Baha region,” he added.

The farm is enjoying a surge in demand due to recent rainfall, the pristine atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area.