Saudi Arabia Special Edition 2017

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The Progress Time Quarterly magazine on-line February 2017

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Saudi Arabia Special Edition AMBASSADOR H.E. RAYED KHALED A. KRIMLY Quarterly magazine on-line, February / April 2017


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Made i ..exclusive jewellery series realized with D co handmade by expert goldsmiths respecting the


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Sommary 10 Saudi Arabia, a country in constant evolution, between ancient and modern. 17 Interview to President of Arab-Italian Chamber Mr. MARIO MANCINI. 23 SAUDIA, welcome to you world! 26 The art told by Mayoor. 10 23 26 17 THE PROGRESS TIME Quarterly magazine on-line, February / April 2017 Aut.Trib. di Arezzo n. 4/13RS del 23/07/2013 Aut. Modifiche dal Tribunale di Arezzo del 02/07/2015 EDITOR Mr. Ivan De Stefano EDITOR IN CHIEF Mrs. Barbara Ganetti GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGNER Mr. Lucio Tosi TRASLATOR Ms. Giulia Ruzzenenti QUESTO NUMERO È STATO FINITO DI IMPAGINARE IL 18/02/2017 CONTATTI -


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Hotel Regina Milano Via Cesare Correnti 13 – 20123 MILANO (ITALIA) Tel. 0258106913 – Fax 0258107033 e-mail Web:


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Editorial by Barbara Ganetti In this first publication of the new year, we will debate business and cultural relations between Saudi Arabia and our country, with a history of friendly cooperation that lasts for over 80 years; currently, the two countries are increasing their economic relations and this means great opportunities for the Italian Know-How. In Saudi Arabia about 70 Italian companies are operative, through joint-ventures with Arabian partners. Various Italian groups from the petrochemical and the plant engineering sectors continue to win important contracts, related to the building and/or the expansion of petrochemical complexes. Italian companies are present also in the constructions and infrastructures sectors, with projects particularly important for their size and their social impact, such as the case of the Riad subway. In this Saudi Arabia special issue, in collaboration with the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Italy, we are glad to propose you two exclusive interviews: the first one with H.E. RAYED KHALED A. KRIMLY, Saudi Ambassador in Italy, and, the second one with Mr. Mario Mancini, President of the Arab-Italian Chamber of Commerce. These two interviews will help us to know what new exchange possibilities are delineating between our two countries. Enjoy the read


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Saudi Arabia, a country in constant evolution, between ancient and modern. By Ivan De Stefano Ambassador H.E. Rayed Khaled a. Krimly The Italian-Saudi economic relations continue to live their favorable moment for our national interests. In fact, the Saudi kingdom is widely willing to increase economic relations with Italy. Saudi Arabia needs a huge amount of goods, services and, especially, knowledges, in order to proceed in the economic diversification process and to organize the support for the demand of its population, that is growing in number and in complexity. The Italian in- vestments in this kingdom are based on the traditional sectors of energy, petrochemical industry, infrastructures and defense. The areas with the highest perspectives of growth, and that assume future investments for Italy, are certainly, healthcare, renewable energies, chemistry and plastic, health and educational infrastructures, defense and water system. For a Saudi customer with high purchasing power, “Made in Italy” is always identified with luxu


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ry items, exclusivity and high sophistication. Italian machineries continue to be, not only a reference for various sectors of Saudi industry, but this exportation is also expanding together with the growth of the Saudi economy. In this Saudi-Arabia special issue, for courtesy, we have interviewed H.E. RAYED KHALED A. KRIMLY, Saudi Ambassador in Italy, with the purpose to know what new exchange possibilities are delineating between our two countries. The relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia praise an over 80 years’ History, whose progressive and profitable intensification had not only repercussions on economic and commercial exchanges but on cultural ones too. What are the cultural meeting point between Italy and Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia and Italy have more in common than first meets the eye. They are both relatively recent political creations that were based on a long and rich history. Both Saudi Arabia and Italy, as we know them today, were the result of a long and unique struggle for unification. Saudi Arabia includes the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the birth place and Holiest sites of Islam. It also occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, the birth place of the Arab identity and culture. Italy’s rich history represents a civilization that was the center of the Roman Empire, of Christianity, and of the European Renaissance. It is thus not surpri-


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sing that Saudi Arabia and Italy enjoyed strong friendly relations for over eight decades based on mutual respect and common interests. The cooperation between the two countries has been settled through several agreements and Memorandum of Understanding and has witnessed a remarkable and favorable development at all levels, political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, and in the investment fields of security and defense. Concerning trade and economic cooperation between Italy and Saudi Arabia, are they favorable? What are the main sectors involved in this process? In 2016, Italy is ranked among the top ten countries as a source of Saudi imports. Italy comes before Britain, and after China, the USA, Germany, Japan, the UAE, Korea, India and France. Because of declining oil prices, the trade balance is currently favoring Italy. Saudi Arabia exports to Italy are largely focused on oil, mineral resources, and petrochemicals. Saudi imports from Italy mainly concern the sectors of mechanical engineering, refined products and manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and wooden furniture industry. Joint economic cooperation agreements and understandings have contributed to activate investments and to an increase the trade exchange between the two countries. Over past decade, KSA has further liberalized its trade regime to offer an open, supportive and stable environment for trade in accordance with WTO rules. Is it profitable for Italian companies to invest in Saudi Arabia? Our stable government, banking system and currency offer investors a business-friendly environment. Foreign investors enjoy all the benefits, incentives, guarantees, and support offered to national investors according to law


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and regulations, and can transfer capital and profits abroad. We rank among the top world’s oil producer and have a wealth of metal deposit, that allow us to lend to lowest energy prices for investment projects and easy access to certain raw materials. Saudi Arabia is a founding member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) as well as of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) through which has free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Singapore. KSA is the largest economy in the Arab World, with 25% of the total MENA gross domestic product (GDP), and is the only Arab member of the G-20. It has high purchasing power and is one of the fastest-growing countries worldwide. Saudi Arabia signed with Italy Memorandum of Understanding for promoting and pro- tecting investment and for preventing double taxation. We have major Italian companies and big players involved in important projects in the Kingdom, even though they are not at forefront of actual investment. There are currently many opportunities of investment in Saudi Arabia in the infrastructure, manufacturing and health sectors as well as in the information, communications and technology sector. Saudi Government is taking a proactive approach in encouraging foreign investments and will continue facilitating access to trading and investing in the stock markets and to welcome foreign technology and expertise to reach the ambitions goals of Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia pay specific attention for investments in the Academic education


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domain and research innovation. Which is the role of Italy as a partner in these fields? The leaders of Saudi Arabia consider our people as our most important asset and truly renewable resource. This is why we continue to increase spending on education even when our oil revenues decline sharply. Between 2014 and 2016, our public spending on education increased by 6%, reaching 57 billion dollars. In 2015, our students reached 9 million. 1.5 million of them are students of high education. We have currently 183 thousand students pursuing their studies outside Saudi Arabia, with full governmental scholarship. 52% of all our university students are female. Approximately 1.9 million Saudis will enter the workforce over the next ten years, increasing the size of the current workforce by more than one-third. Thus, the Kingdom is expecting to increase its investments on national education and training and to strengthen its cooperation with friend countries to unleash the potential of the country’s youth. Saudi Arabia and Italy have a solid and historical cooperation on Cultural, scientific and technical fields, first established in 1973 with an agreement and later implemented with memorandum of understanding. During the past years, Italian and Saudi scientists, researches and students took part in exchange and cooperation programs implemented by high profile universities, companies and scientific centers of both countries. A recent example of this cooperation is the 5 years’ agreement signed in 2016 by the Islamic University Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud and the University of Bologna to promote dialogue, cultural and artistic and archeological exchange.


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Besides the capital city Riyadh, cities as Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah represent an ancient cultural and architectural heritage; which are the strategy concerning the respect of cultural and natural patrimony and touristic promotion that is Saudi Arabia implementing? Which is the role of Italy as a partner in these fields? Antiquities discovered in the Kingdom demonstrate that the Arabian Peninsula is one of the oldest areas of human settlement in the world, which dates back to more than 1.2 million years ago. Saudi Arabia hosts several archeological and heritage sites registered in the World Heritage List of UNESCO including Al Dar’yyia, the Historic Jeddah, and Rock Art in Hail and Mada’in Salih which represents the ancient Nabatean civilization and it was also mentioned in Torah, in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, and in the Holy Quran. Saudi Arabia is always looking forward to strengthening the preservation of its antiquities and greatly value cooperation with countries holding rich and unique cultural heritage as Italy. The first survey by an Italian expedition in the Kingdom was carried out in 2008 and led to the important archeological excavations Dumat Al-Jandal, one of the most important Arab commercial centers in the Nabatean and Roman periods. On 2013, this project has been renewed for further 5 years, after the signing in Rome of a Joint Statement between the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Cultural Heritage and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism to promote cooperation on archeology, urban heritage and tourism. Opportunities of cooperation in the cultural heritage are promising and the Kingdom has launched several initiatives to achieve a breakthrough in the care of antiquities, museum and urban heritage and to link the sector to the tourism industry in order to contribute to the comprehensive development of the economy. Saudi tourism industry is undergoing a rapid growth and is becoming an attractive environment for investors and for creating jobs for young Saudis. Tourism, mainly in the form of pilgrimage, business and domestic travel, currently contributes around 2.7% to the Kingdom’s GDP. The number of pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia for U’mrah is forecast to grow substantially, from 8m in 2015 to 15m by 2020 and 30m by 2030. Thus, Saudi Arabia is keens to support investors, operators and hoteliers and provide all facilities to international ho- tel companies to enter the Saudi market. The Kingdom is also focusing on many initiatives in developing new tourist destinations along the coastal area faces the Red sea along the Gulf and in the scenic mountains.



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