Russia eyes opportunities at trade show in Riyadh

The purpose of the event is to showcase advanced technologies developed in Russia which are ready to be used in the industrial sector. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 May 2023

Russia eyes opportunities at trade show in Riyadh

  • Exhibition to showcase industrial technologies to help boost KSA’s development

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Russia’s bilateral economic ties are set to get a new boost as the Kingdom is hosting the Made in Russia +Innoprom business mission in Riyadh on May 29 and 30. 

In an interview with Arab News, Anton Atrashkin, program director of the Innoprom International Trade Show, said that more than 100 Russian companies would be a part of the event to be held in Riyadh. 

The delegation will be led by Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexei Gruzdev. 

Innoprom is the largest Russian industrial exhibition that has been held for the last 14 years in Yekaterinburg. 

The event aims to showcase advanced technologies developed in Russia that are ready to be used in the industrial sector. 

“All of us are very excited to see the reaction and attitude of the Saudi business community toward what we have to offer. We are really making our very first steps in the blessed land of the KSA. For many Russian delegates, it will be their first trip to the country. I would say that our business mission is opening a new page of bilateral economic relations,” said Atrashkin. 

Russian Helicopters, Transmashholding, Rostselmash Agricultural machines, Power Machines, and Kaspersky are some of the key companies participating in the industry event. 

Atrashkin also said that Russian agricultural products are getting popular in the Saudi market, and the event seeks to introduce Russian industrial technologies in the Kingdom. 

Gruzdev said the Russian-Saudi ties are based on a strong foundation, which will contribute to the development goals of both countries. 

Our business mission to Riyadh aims to strengthen economic ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Alexei Gruzdev, Russia’s deputy minister of industry and trade

“Our business mission to Riyadh aims to strengthen economic ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, discover new business opportunities, exchange ideas, and establish long-term partnerships,” said the deputy trade minister. 

He added: “We are particularly grateful to the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce for hosting us as well as to our Saudi partners from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and Ministry of Investment.” 

Atrashkin said that the infrastructure development currently underway in Saudi Arabia, including the giga-project NEOM, presents an opportunity for Russian companies to showcase their potential to become part of the success story of the Kingdom. 

“The whole world sees this project (NEOM) as the highest point of mankind’s ambitions. Many companies from Europe, the US, and Asia want to get a stake in this No. 1 project of the 21st century. Russian companies definitely have many competitive technologies in unmanned systems, construction, engineering, and software products,” added Atrashkin. 

He said that some business leaders visiting Saudi Arabia as part of this event are “prepared to discuss deep localization, being aware of the opportunities (available in) 36 industrial cities managed by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.” 

The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, also known as MODON, has been undertaking the development and supervision of industrial lands and integrated infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, and it oversees 36 existing and under-development industrial cities across the Kingdom, in addition to private industrial facilities. 

According to Atrashkin, some areas where Saudi businesses can use Russian technologies include IT, engineering technologies for construction industries, unmanned systems for industrial and agricultural projects, and cybersecurity, to name a few. 

During the interview, Atrashkin also lauded the reformatory measures introduced by the Saudi government, which now allows foreign investors to operate in the Kingdom. He further noted that Russian-Arab relations have always been cordial and deep. 

I would say that our business mission is opening a new page of bilateral economic relations.

Anton Atrashkin, Program director, Innoprom International Trade Show

“When I witness the negotiations between the Russian and Arabic businessmen, I always note very warm attitudes toward each other. A genuine deep respect for your partner is a common feature of our business culture. It works well and helps to avoid many mistakes,” said Atrashkin. 

He further said: “I would also mention great support from the Saudi government to make the economy open — not only to the Russians but to all the partners of the KSA. The ambition of the Saudi government is to have the best infrastructure in the world. This means millions of opportunities for the manufacturers.” 

A recent press statement from Innoprom said that Saudi Arabia is currently witnessing a real industrial revolution, offering tremendous opportunities for foreign investors. 

“Many experts call the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia one of the most promising partners. Today, a real industrial revolution is taking place in Saudi Arabia; dozens of industrial cities are springing up with special regimes for foreign investors. The Russian industrial technology developers are looking for ways to get contracts worth multimillion dollars from the Kingdom,” it said in a press statement.

Saudi Arabia announces oil production cuts extension to the end of 2023

Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces oil production cuts extension to the end of 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will continue the voluntary cut of one million barrels of oil per day starting November until the end of December 2023, the Ministry of Energy has announced.

The Kingdom's production for the final two months of the year will be approximately 9 million bpd.

Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report

Updated 03 October 2023

Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report

RIYADH: Confirming the progressive trajectory of Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector, the Saudi Ports Authority, commonly known as Mawani, has jumped in the global maritime index for the third quarter of 2023.  

As outlined in a recent report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the data highlights a leap from 76.16 points in the second quarter to 77.66 points in the third quarter of the year, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The uptick reflects Mawani’s commitment to strengthening the competitive capabilities of Saudi ports on the global stage, bolstering the maritime transport sector, enhancing networks, and refining logistics services.

Commenting on the achievement, Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudi minister of transport and logistics services and chairman of Mawani, emphasized that the Kingdom’s advancement is in alignment with the objectives of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services.  

He also pointed to Mawani’s success in improving maritime shipping, with the introduction of 24 new services in 2023 alone.  

This move fortifies trade and export activities and strengthens the Kingdom’s connection to global markets through enhanced operational capabilities, maritime communication routes development, and an uplifted competitive stature.

The maritime network connectivity index, which gauges the interconnection levels of global ports with shipping line networks quarterly, incorporates several sub-indicators, including the scheduled ship visits to the country per week and the number of regular service routes offered by vessel lines to and from the national ports.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia celebrated climbing 17 global ranks in the Logistics Performance Index issued by the World Bank.  

On a separate ranking, the Kingdom’s ports rose to the 16th position in the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index in June.  

Moreover, Saudi Arabia achieved significant progress in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, jumping 17 places to reach the 38th position in 2023.  

This marks a notable improvement compared to its rankings of 55 in 2018 and 52 in 2016.  

The Kingdom currently has 97 shipping links that connect to 348 international ports.

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 

Updated 03 October 2023

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 

RIYADH: The UAE is all set to lead the Middle East in producing sustainable aviation fuel, with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s Ruwais refinery receiving the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification. 

According to the Emirates News Agency, or WAM, the certification makes ADNOC the first company in the Middle East to supply the aviation sector with SAF and reinforces its sustainability pledge. 

The SAF is produced using cooking oils as feedstock and is blended with jet fuel at the Ruwais refinery. 

“Developing sustainable aviation fuel is an essential part of the company’s strategy to provide low-emission fuel to its customers,” said Sultan Albigishi, the acting CEO of ADNOC Refining, in a statement. 

Based in Cologne, ISCC is a global system for certifying the sustainability of agricultural, industrial, and food products. ISCC covers a wide range of products across multiple markets. 

By obtaining the international certificate for SAF production through its existing refineries, ADNOC can supply biofuel to international airlines in Abu Dhabi.  

According to WAM, the company will release its first batch of SAF later this month, which will be enough to fuel a 787-10 Dreamliner flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris. 

“Obtaining the international certificate for sustainability and carbon represents an important progress in ADNOC’s journey to achieve sustainability,” said Ahmad bin Thalith, the acting CEO of ADNOC Global Trading, in the statement. 

ADNOC Global Trading is responsible for providing vital raw materials suitable for refining operations. Trading operations include biofuels and other sustainable fuel alternatives to its global and local customers. 

The group continues to implement a qualitative shift and take practical steps to make today’s energy cleaner while investing in future clean energies to enhance its position as a reliable global energy provider. 

As part of its ongoing efforts to support the UAE’s strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, ADNOC recently announced that it will bring the date of attaining its climate neutrality goal closer to 2045 instead of 2050. 

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952

Updated 03 October 2023

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index continued its downward trend for the third consecutive day, as it shed 53.60 points or 0.49 percent to close at 10,952.34 on Tuesday.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.89 billion ($1.30 billion) as 74 stocks advanced, while 143 declined.

Saudi Arabia’s parallel market Nomu slipped on Tuesday, declining by 247.82 points to 22,544.21, while the MSCI Tadawul Index also fell by 0.44 percent to close at 1,407.13.

Alinma Tokio Marine Co. was the best-performing stock of the day on the main index. The company’s share price soared by 9.99 percent to SR15.20.

Other top firms include Middle East Healthcare Co. and Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co., whose share prices edged up by 4.92 percent and 3.69 percent, respectively.

Electrical Industries Co. was the poorest performer of the day, with its share price declining by 8.02 percent to SR1.95.

On the announcements front, Saudi Top for Trading Co., listed on the Kingdom’s parallel market, announced that it has signed a Shariah-compliant credit facility agreement with Riyad Bank worth SR30 million.

The newly-listed company said that SR20 million would be allocated to repay suppliers’ dues, while the remaining SR10 million will be used to issue letters of guarantee.

Meanwhile, Saudi multinational dairy firm Almarai said that its board has approved an investment plan of SR405 million to increase its fresh bakery capacity, expand its products, and enter the frozen bakery segment in the Kingdom.

According to a Tadawul statement, the new investment plan will be financed by Almarai’s internal cash flow, with an expected completion period of two years.

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands

Updated 03 October 2023

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands

RIYADH: Bahrain recorded a 2 percent growth in real gross domestic product in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to its Ministry of Finance and National Economy. 

In its latest report, the department disclosed that the growth in real GDP was fuelled by a rise in the non-oil sector, also of 2 percent. 

The transportation and communication activities topped the rankings, reporting an annual growth of 13.3 percent in the second quarter, followed by hotels and restaurants, which grew by 9.6 percent. 

Real estate and business activities rose 4.9 percent, while financial corporations advanced by 4.7 percent annually over the second quarter of last year. 

The oil sector also reported an annual increase of 2.2 percent in business activity, spurred by a 2.9 percent rise in the combined production of Abu Sa’afa and the onshore Bahrain oil fields.   

Like many oil-dependent nations, Bahrain has recognized the need to diversify its economy.   

Various initiatives have been taken to support this, including in the financial services, tourism and hospitality, and real estate sectors.

The report further stated that the non-oil industry contributed 82.9 percent of Bahrain’s real GDP between April and June,

The financial sector made up the largest segment of the total, with its size reflecting the government’s focus on financial technology and digital banking.

The oil sector was the second-largest contributor to real GDP at 17.1 percent, while government services came in third, accounting for 14.1 percent.

The manufacturing sector dropped by 0.9 percent in the second quarter compared to last year’s corresponding period yet controlled 13.6 percent of the country’s real GDP. 

Bahrain has also been promoting the manufacturing and industrial sectors to reduce dependency on oil, including nurturing Aluminum Bahrain – one of the largest producers of the metal in the world – and growing the petrochemical industry. 

These diversification efforts align with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, a comprehensive development plan to transform the country’s economy. 

The quarterly report further projects real GDP growth of 2.9 percent in 2023 and 3.2 percent in 2024, with the non-oil sector growing by 3.5 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, during those years.