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Saudi Crown Prince’s Gulf tour culminates in numerous deals

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah bestow upon Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the Order of Mubarak the Great during their meeting yesterday. – AFP

KUWAIT: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s tour of Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait has culminated in hammering out a host of agreements and memos of understanding (MoUs) aiming at cementing inter-Gulf cooperation in various domains. In Kuwait, he met HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the presence of HH the Crown Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

HH the Kuwaiti Crown Prince and his Saudi counterpart co-chaired official talks where they emphasized their determination to enhance cooperation and coordination in the security and military fields between their two countries. They agreed to boost all means of cooperation on international climate policies, implementing the Green Middle East Initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, according to the joint statement released at the end of the visit.

Both sides agreed to maximize benefit from electrical interconnection and commercial exchange of electrical energy. They stressed their intent to bolster investment, commercial and economic cooperation in the public and private sectors and carry out joint economic projects. The two sides agreed on enhancing bilateral cooperation to encourage direct investment in both countries in line with the activation of the memo signed between them, and on boosting investment exchange opportunities as well as unifying efforts to remove obstacles and provide chances to their investors.

They affirmed the significance of boosting collaboration in finance, sharing expertise and getting the best practices to carry out economic reforms and diversify income sources. They stressed strengthening cooperation in various fields like health, tourism, food security and human development, mainly youth and women’s empowerment sectors, in addition to digital transformation and cybersecurity. They affirmed the contents of Al-Ula Statement issued on Jan 5, 2021 that calls for the full implementation of the vision of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud approved by the GCC supreme council.

In Muscat, Omani Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Qais Al-Yousef and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Minister of Media Majid Al-Qasabi signed two MoUs in the fields of commerce and standardization. One MoU stressed exchanging expertise, protecting national products, developing e-commerce and regulation mechanisms, and marketing research. The standardization deal targets the exchange of data and studies as well as collaboration in fields of specifications and quality. It also encourages holding training courses.

In addition, Omani Minister of Information signed Tuesday with Saudi Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media Majid Al-Qasabi several MoUs aiming to enhance joint media fields. Oman News Agency (ONA) reported that the MoUs include exchanging experiences, expertise and exploring various media aspects. The MoUs will contribute to strengthening the relations between the two countries, by supporting media platforms and exchanging information relating to news services, ONA added.

Saudi Arabia and Oman also inked 13 memoranda of understanding to launch joint ventures in diverse sectors. On Monday, the Omani group Okio inked three MoUs, one on petrochemicals and renewable energy, and on green hydrogen (with the Saudi company ACWA Power and Abder Product Co), the second on oil storage with Aramco and the third with Sabic for developing the Al-Doqom petrochemical venture.

Another MoU was signed by the Omani group Asyad and the Saudi maritime company, and a fifth one involved Minerals Development Oman (MDO) and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company. Moreover, the Omani group Omran hammered out a memo for investment in tourism with the Saudi Dar Arkan company. Other deals signed by both sides covered fish farming and stocks.

In Doha, both Saudi and Qatari sides agreed, in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of Prince Mohammad’s visit, on enhancing cooperation in various fields including politics, security, defense, economy, etc. Saudi Arabia and Qatar also agreed to benefit from projects of infrastructural, logistic, energy and business nature, noting that the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup would serve as a pedestal to achieve both countries visions for 2030.

In Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia concurred on strengthening their strategic cooperation and integration in a variety of domains. Both sides affirmed that bolstering strategic cooperation would create great economic and investment opportunities for the new generations in both countries, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday at the conclusion of Prince Mohammad’s visit to the UAE.

They vowed to further cooperation in various areas, including energy, climate change, health, tourism, food security and social development. On the energy front, the two countries lauded their close cooperation and the successful efforts of OPEC+ alliance to restore stability to the global oil market. They affirmed the importance of continuing this cooperation, as well as the commitment of the member states of OPEC+ to the agreement, underlining the need for continuing their joint cooperation in the field of oil, gas and petrochemicals, as well as in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and oil products trade. They agreed on increasing cooperation in electricity trade exchange, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, cybersecurity and advanced technologies.

In Manama, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia signed key agreements, involving a Saudi investment of $5 billion in development projects across Bahrain. The agreements came, during the second meeting of the Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council at Sakhir Palace, co-chaired by Bahraini Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and Prince Mohammad. A feasibility study for establishing a Bahraini-Saudi multi-industry holding company was agreed on during the meeting. Moreover, both sides discussed cooperation between Bahrain’s Oil and Gas Holding Company and Saudi Aramco, with a focus on the circular economy and hydrogen production technology. – KUNA


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