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SEPT 2010 ISSUE 43 VOL 5

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SAUDI-AUSTRALIA TRADE RELATIONS PAGE 6 WORLD BANK COMMENDS SAUDI GENOROSITY PAGE 7

Sept 2010 Issue 43 Vol 5

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ISSUE 43 SEPT 2010

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The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Australia celebrates the 80th Saudi National Day The Ambassador of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Australia H.E Mr Hassan Talat Nazer commended the bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Australian during the reception he hosted to mark the 80th Anniversary of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which was held at the Federation ballroom in the Hyatt Hotel Canberra on 23rd September 2010. Guests from the Diplomatic Corps in Canberra, Australian Government, members of Australian Federal Parliament, officials from the Australian Defense Force, Navy and Airforce , representative of Australian Arab and Muslim communities, and Saudi students were in attendance at the event held at the Federation ballroom in the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Â The ceremony, began by the Saudi Royal National anthem of peace and the anthem of Australia. Ms. Anne Plunkett, Chief of Protocol of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, extended the highest congratulations to the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Australian Government. H.E Ambassador Hassan Nazer delivered a speech in which he extended his deep congratulations to the Custo-

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H.E Ambassador Hassan Nazer with Ms. Anne Plunkett, Cheif of Australian Protocol

dian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, to Crown Prince to H.H Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and Second Deputy H.H Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, and Saudi people . Ambassador Nazer said the right of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while celebrating the National Day and the glories of its founding by the late great King Abdul Aziz. King Abdul Aziz laid the foundations for the Kingdom to follow Islamic and Arabic-Semitism and achieve the renaissance of the kingdom’s leaders over the years with determination in their ability to deal successfully with the requirements of the homeland and international politics. The Ambassador emphasized the strength of the Australian and Saudi ties between the two countries and the desire to strengthen bilateral relations and development for the benefit of both countries. The function included an information exhibition of publications, books, documents and photographs telling the story of Saudi Arabia and its development in various fields. Also the Saudi students was performing the Traditional Al Arda dance.

SAUDI STUDENTS CELEBRATE NATIONAL DAY IN PERTH, WA

H.E Ambassador Nazer with Rick Brewer, Australian Defence force

AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMATS

COMMEMORATE SAUDI NATIONAL DAY

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Under the patronage of the Saudi Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand H.E Hassan Nazer, Saudi students celebrated the Kingdom’s 80th National Day in Perth Western Australia on Oct.9. A large number of Australian parliamentarians, academics, officials and Saudi students attended the celebrations programe called “Saudis.” that are being supported and sponsored by the Saudi Embassy and culture attaché mission in Australia. The Ambassador Nazer hails the efforts made by Saudi Students in organising the Programe. Ambassador Nazer said the celebrations portraying a contemporary picture of the Kingdom, including cultural, social, economic and architectural diversities in the country , and the efforts being made by the Kingdom to boost international peace security, and the country’s economic progress. The events coordinator Shadi Badawood said information about the Kingdom’s history and cultural and social heritage has been provided during the event, in addition to its current economic and industrial development. Attendees entertained with folk dances from the Kingdom’s various regions. The “Saudis” program is being supported by a number of government and private organizations including the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Aramco, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, and the Saudi Food and Drugs Authority.

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The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) hosted a lunch in honour of the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Australia, H.E. Mr Hassan T. Nazer Attending the luncheon were executives from the financial, industry and education sectors including representatives from Macquarie Funds Management, Norton Rose Group, Laing O’Rourke Australia, HSBC Bank Australia and Bond University and others. The event provided Australian business leaders the opportunity to hear in person how Australia can build business relationships with Saudi Arabia, with focus on agricultural business and education. Ms Cynthia Dearin, AACCI Chief Executive Officer said. “Australian businesses should be encouraged to capitalize on the extensive offering of business opportunities presented by markets like Saudi Arabia.”. Mr Andrew Butcher of Price Waterhouse Coopers thanked the Ambassador for his time and efforts to enhance the trade and investment between Australia and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In his remarks Ambassador Nazer spoke highly of the

SAUDI AMBASSADOR LAUNCHES AUSTRALIAN HAJJ MISSION OF 2010 Saudi Ambassador to Australia Mr Hassan Talat Nazer inaugurated the launching of the Australian Hajj missions for this year’s Hajj season. The ambassador highlighted Saudi pride in serving pilgrims great efforts to provide all means of comfort and safety to the pilgrims. The Ambassador’s remarks to Saudi Press Agency came on the occasion of launching Hajj missions from Australia, New Zealand and other neighboring countries for this year. Around four thousand Muslim Australians will attend the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca this year. The Ambassador stressed that the Saudi Government will do everything it can to ensure that the missions of the Australian Hajj is a successful one. In conclusion Ambassador Nazer

contribution of the (AACCI) to the development of the Arab-Australia Trade relations. Ambassador Nazer devoted to building business and trade links between Australia and Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia is ready to work with the new Australian government and trade sector to enhance trade and investment opportunities in all fields Ambassador Nazer answered questions on the SaudiAustralia business cooperation, trade and Food security and others. expressed his wish for the Australian Hajj Missions, and all Muslims who are performing Hajj this year, a safe journey, a blissful visit to the Holy places, an accepted Hajj and a safe return to their homes and loved ones. the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, believe that God Almighty had truly blessed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the honor and responsibility of being the custodians, stewards and servitors of Islam’s most sacred places; namely the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. the Kingdom constantly puts great efforts to live up to these responsibilities which require the allocation of huge human, financial and administrative resources. Hardly a month passes by without a new project or a new service being launched to improve and care for the Holy places and, eventually, for the visitors to these places. Each year, the Kingdom hosts more than two million Muslims who come from all over the world specifically to perform Hajj, in addition to several millions who visit the Holy places in Makkah and Madinah throughout the year.

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Islamabad to provide a grant of more than $23.3 million for humanitarian activities in Pakistan. The agreement was signed between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and UNICEF. “This grant by the government of Saudi Arabia is for urgent support to maternal and child health care, nutrition services for children and pregnant women, and providing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps,” said Mohamed Al-Arifi, head of the SFD delegation. “The Saudi government has always shown its desire to provide financial assistance to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds. This relief assistance comes under the Kingdom’s pledge of $100 million to IDPs,” he added. In 2009, huge numbers of people were displaced as a result of militancy in Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. Nearly three million people were displaced of which many still reside in camps and with host communities. The SFD grant will go toward UNICEF’s ongoing humanitarian assistance The Diplomatic Corps in Canberra, Australian Govfor people affected in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and the Federnment, members of Australian Federal Parliament, erally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). officials from the Australian Defence Force, Navy and “This generous donation by SFD will go a long way in helpAir force, representative of Australian Arab and Musing UNICEF to continue to provide improved and expandlim communities forwarded congratulations to the ed services in the areas of health, education, drinking water, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah sanitation and hygiene to women and children affected by bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, government and people of militancy in north-western Pakistan,” said Daniel Toole, reSaudi Arabia on the 80th anniversary of the National gional director for South Asia and special representative for Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. UNICEF in Pakistan. Ms Maria Vamvakinou, Chairwoman of the AustralUNICEF will use the Saudi funds for procuring school ian-Saudi Parliamentary Friendship Committee and supplies, preventive and curative health services, provision Member of the Australian Parliament highlighted the of safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and restoration of positive partnership relations between the Kingdom damaged public sector schools and health centers. and Australia and its development at all levels.

AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMATS

COMMEMORATE SAUDI NATIONAL DAY

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Written by Senior Trade Commissioner John Brand - Australian Embassy Riyadh

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The Australian Government is committed to strengthening its trade and investment relationship with Saudi Arabia. This commitment is demonstrated through Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) trade and investment offices being strategically located in both Riyadh and Jeddah, to build on the already strong trade and investment links between our countries. Austrade is actively promoting a number of key sectors to potential Australian trade and investment partners, including infrastructure, building and construction, education, agriculture, ICT, and mining. Supporting this is a proactive trade and investment marketing program. Already a number of leading Australian companies enjoyrewarding partnerships with local Saudi Arabian businesses in infrastructure and, building and constructiondevelopments including rail, road and power projects. Australia’s world class resource sector capability is also fuelling interest in Saud Arabia’s developing mining sector, with an Australian company already undertaking its first mining venture. Australia continues to be a popular destination for Saudi students wishing to study at our world class universities. This relationship has been further strengthened through the visit to Australian in May 2010 by HE Dr Khalid Al Ankary, Minister for Higher Education of Saudi Arabia and the conclusion of a Memorandum of Higher Education Cooperation between Australia and Saudi Arabia. These tertiary study programs play an important role in educating the next Saudi generation to allow them to meet their aspirations and contribute to strengthening our wider people-to-people links. These university friendships can develop into powerful commercial global networks, further bolstering our bilateral trade linkages. Australia has relied on its foreign direct investment to grow its economy and offers many benefits for Saudi investors. As a strategic location into the Asia Pacific with a business friendly environment, Australia offers a cost compat-

ible location, a strong and sophisticated finance sector, a stable political environment , a highly skilled and multilingual workforce, an innovative culture with excellent R&D capability, and an excellent quality of life. Australia’s reputation as a highly competitive economy continues to strengthen. In 2009, the Australian economy was ranked in the top three countries in the Asia-Pacific region for its overall competitiveness, and provides a gateway to the Asia-Pacific market. Australia is a serious trade and investment player, generating more than 20 per cent of GDP from exports and more than 36 per cent from FDI stock and its economy is now predominantly services-based, accounting for just over 60 per cent of economic activity. Austrade enjoys an excellent on ground working relationship with key Saudi Arabian organisations including the Chambers of Commerce and the National Council of Saudi Chambers network, the Saudi Arabia Government Investment Authority and businesses houses across the Kingdom. Austrade looks forward to working with our Saudi trade and investment partners in the coming year and takes this opportunity of extending its best wishes to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on their National Day.

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SAUDI ARABIA DONATES TWICE UNITED NATIONS RECOMMENDED AMOUNT A recent report by the World Bank highlighted the importance and high volume of humanitarian assistance that has come out of the Arab world during the past four decades. The report emphasized that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have been among the most generous in the world, with official development assistance (ODA) averaging 1.5 percent of their combined gross national income (GNI) during the period 1973-2008, more than twice the United Nations target of 0.7 percent. The World Bank report stated, “The Kingdom has become a significant donor to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and is the biggest contributor in the Middle East and the 16th largest overall.” The report also noted that Saudi Arabia has contributed more than $2 billion to the International Development Association (IDA), a key humanitarian organization run out of the World Bank. In addition to government assistance, Arab nations have established a number of specialized institutions to provide development assistance to low-income countries. Humanitarian assistance through these independent institutions has increased by 4.4 percent per year between 1990 and 2008. On July 1, 2010, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) announced that it had provided $8.23 billion to 75 countries between 1975 and 2009. At the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the importance of reducing poverty around the world and heeding the call of nations affected by natural disasters, despite tough economic times. He said: “Being true means supporting the vulnerable despite the economic crisis. We should not balance budgets on the backs of the poor. We must not draw back from official development assistance – a lifeline of billions, for billions.” Saudi Arabia has heeded the call of those natural disasters for decades, and did not waver when floods devastated Pakistan in August. The Kingdom immediately sent blankets, food stuffs and other critical items, such as

“Saudi Arabia has heeded the call of those natural disasters for decades, and did not waver when floods devastated Pakistan in August. The Kingdom immediately sent blankets, food stuffs and other critical items, such as medical supplies” Saudi Air Force in Pakistan providing relief supplies

medical supplies. To date, Saudi Arabia has contributed more than $240 million and more than 700 tons of food stuffs to people affected by the flooding. In addition, Saudi-led rescue operations have saved more than 550 people trapped as a result of the flooding. On September 21, a team of 30 doctors from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital went to Pakistan to help the flood victims. The Saudi medical team brought water filters, which will provide clean water to 15,000 people a day, as well as pumps to remove stagnant water.

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The first phase of the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro (Makkah Metro) project is expected to be completed before this year’s Haj, the Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) said. SRO President Abdul Aziz Al-Hoqail said this will enable Haj pilgrims to use 35 percent of train service. The first phase will connect the holy sites of Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina. This will reduce the traffic congestion, specially on the day of Arafat, to a large extent. “While the entire project will be completed before the Haj season next year, the finishing of the first phase would mean that 35 percent of our services will be offered to the pilgrims this year itself,” Hoqail said. This would mean that more than 50,000 cars and buses that carry pilgrims between Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina would no longer be required. Work on the project began two years ago in the southern parts of the holy sites where majority of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia as well as Gulf countries are traditionally accommodated. Hoqail said that with the metro system in place, pilgrims will have to walk no more than 300 meters to reach any one of the three boarding stations in Arafat. Muzdalifah will also have three stations. The first station in Mina is close to Muzdalifah, the second in the center and the third close to the fourth floor of the Jamrat Bridge. The rail is constructed parallel to the pedestrian road so that pilgrim tents in Mina are not disturbed. Also called the Makkah Metro, the project was originally planned to be a monorail, but was changed to a conventional steel-wheel, steel-rail design running on a viaduct. The entire train system, including stations, will be elevated and pilgrims will have access to escalators and staircases to reach it. A Chinese company has undertaken the construction of the railway lines and stations employing 5,000 work-

ers who work round clock. The rail network will initially link the holy sites to the Haramain Railway and other railway networks, and eventually to the Gulf Railway. Each of the five lines of the project will have an hourly capacity to carry 60,000 to 80,000 passengers between Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, and later between Mina and Makkah. All trains will have 12 large compartments, each of which will be 23 meters long and three meters wide. An informed source said the railroad cars and trains’ engines would shortly be shipped from China to the Jeddah Islamic Port.

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43- SA Bulletin October 2010 Issue 43  

WORLD BANK COMMENDS SAUDI GENOROSITY PAGE 7 SAUDI-AUSTRALIA TRADE RELATIONS PAGE 6 www.saudiaustraliaonline.com Sept 2010 Issue 43 Vol 5 PAG...

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