News – 2012.02.03

Published: February 3, 2012

SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

2.3.12 EDITION

The Saudi Industrial Property Authority – Modon: SUSRIS


This week Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the new Minister of Commerce and Industry, in his role as Chairman of Modon’s Board of Directors, signed contracts valued at $186 million for electrical infrastructure at five of Saudi Arabia’s industrial cities. Newly named Director General Saleh Al-Rasheed told Arab News that Modon’s next project will focus on the completion of services and infrastructure, so that the existing industrial cities that are under development become integrated services cities.

Saudi Leads Online Jobs Boom With 56% Growth: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Andy Sambidge | 2/3/12

Saudi Arabia has posted 56 percent growth in online job opportunities over the past year, while Oman saw a 12 percent decline, according to the Monster Employment Index.

Invest in Saudi Arabia: MARKETWATCH


Saudi Arabia is further opening its investment markets to foreigners — and the word is: buy.

With strong fundamentals, little to no debt, and effective dividends, Saudi companies are compelling investment opportunities. But that’s not all. Saudi Arabia is going big into the solar and water industries — and there will be myriad ways to capitalize on making the kingdom more sustainable.

Fairs Make Job Search Easier: ARAB NEWS

Reuters | 2/3/12

In a cavernous exhibition hall on the outskirts of Riyadh, dozens of young Saudi women stroll between corporate booths in search of jobs. Each has completed a 3-1/2 hour aptitude test that gives her scores for 10 behavioral characteristics and two types of cognitive ability. The results are shown to as many as 81 potential employers which schedule job interviews using a centralized, online system.  It is Women’s Day at the first of a series of job fairs launched by the Saudi government this year to find employment for its citizens. In coming months the scheme aims to arrange interviews for 15,000 men and women out of 100,000 applicants, holding similar fairs in the cities of Jeddah and Dammam.

Hyatt Soon to Dominate High-End Hotels in Saudi Arabia: MARKET WATCH


Hyatt Announces Plans for Three New Hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Agreements for Park Hyatt Riyadh, Grand Hyatt Jeddah, and Hyatt Regency Jeddah Bring Total to Six Hotels under Development in Saudi Arabia.

Saudis Set to Tap Fuel Oil Boom with Latest Pricing for Crude: BLOOMBERG


Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is poised to raise the price of its lowest-quality crude to the most in almost two years relative to the top grade as it benefits from the rising cost of shipping fuel.

Saudi Contribution to IMF Faces Tough Sell: GULF NEWS


International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde faces a tough but not impossible sell when she visits Saudi Arabia today to discuss a contribution from the oil-rich kingdom to the IMF’s $500 billion (Dh1.83 trillion) fundraising effort to fight the European debt crisis.

Saudi Arabia: USCIRF Urges Release of Prisoners: U.S. COMMISSION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today called for the immediate release of 35 Ethiopian Christians who have been detained by Saudi Arabian police since December 15, allegedly for participating in a private religious gathering.

System Will Link GCC to Manpower-Exporting States: ARAB NEWS

Md Rasooldeen | 2/3/12

Prospective Gulf workers’ medical reports issued from 11 manpower exporting countries will be linked electronically to the GCC health ministers’ secretariat and to countries in the region.

Saudi Arabia Tanker Load Capacity Gains 22%, Ship Data Show: BLOOMBERG

Rob Sheridan | 2/3/12

The carrying capacity of oil tankers that docked at Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia’s biggest crude-loading port, gained 22 percent in the latest week, according to ship- tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Are Men Afraid Of Women’s Success?: SAUDI GAZETTE


We all agree that women have proved themselves in fields such as education despite the many obstacles they encounter. One of the main obstacles is being deprived of their rights to continue education or work. It is generally accepted that it is the male authority which tries to deprive women of these rights.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


Israeli leaders on Thursday delivered one of the bluntest warnings to date of possible airstrikes against Iranian nuclear sites, adding to the anxiety in Western capitals that a surprise attack by Israel could spark a broader military conflict in the Middle East.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, speaking at a security forum attended by some of Israel’s top intelligence and military leaders, declared that time was running out for stopping Iran’s nuclear advance, as the country’s uranium facilities disappear into newly constructed mountain bunkers, Joel Greenberg and Joby Warrick (Washington Post) report. IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER THREATENS RETALIATION AGAINST ATTACK: The supreme leader of Iran vowed on Friday to retaliate over oil sanctions and threats of military action by the West to stop Iran’s nuclear program, warning that the United States in particular would face severe damage to its interests if any strike were carried out against its nuclear sites, J. David Goodman (NYT) reports. EFFORT TO REBRAND ARAB SPRING BACKFIRES IN IRAN: It was meant to be a crowning moment in which Iran put its own Islamic stamp on the Arab Spring. More than a thousand young activists were flown here earlier this week (at government expense) for a conference on “the Islamic Awakening,” Tehran’s effort to rebrand the popular Arab uprisings of the past year, Robert F. Worth (NYT) writes.

Violent clashes reignited in Egypt on Friday between police and protesters angered by reports of inadequate security at a soccer match that devolved into a riot this week, leaving 79 people dead, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (CNN) reports. AFTERMATH: WHERE TO PIN BLAME? Many of Egypt’s liberal youth activists quickly pinned the blame on a military-orchestrated conspiracy. “SCAF [the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] is trying to manipulate people into begging for the reinstatement of the Emergency Law again,” activist Ahmad Aggour tweeted hours after the violence erupted on national news. Others questioned how a police force so notorious for its use of brutality against protesters — and in securing government buildings — had proved unable to stop a rampage in a soccer stadium, Abigail Hauslohner (TIME) writes.  TWO AMERICANS KIDNAPPED: Bedouin gunmen intercepted a tourist minivan and snatched two female American tourists and their Egyptian guide at gunpoint Friday near St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, the region’s security chief said, CBS news reports.


A senior State Department official said Friday the U.S. is “cautiously optimistic” of strong support for a new U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the violence in Syria and calling for a political transition in the country, AP/Washington Post reports. EMBOLDENED REBELS TEAR AT ASSADS POWER: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad looks increasingly cornered, his authority seriously wounded by rebel raids at the gates of Damascus and his ability to wield superior firepower complicated by political constraints, Reuters reports. ‘FINISH HIM’: Daniel Bynum (Foreign Policy) writes: Without international intervention, there’s a good chance that Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, could still rule for years.


The United States economy gained momentum in January, adding 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election. The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of the job market uses a different survey, of households rather than employers, to calculate the unemployment rate, Motoko Rich (NYT) reports.


Kuwait has become the fourth Arab country in as many months to see overwhelming gains for Islamists and dismal losses for liberals in parliamentary elections, Gulf News reports.


Israel must halt settlement building and present detailed proposals for a border with a future Palestinian state, visiting U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday, as he tried to persuade the Palestinians to continue low-level meetings with Israel that the international community hopes will evolve into serious negotiations, CBS news reports.

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