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New projects in Saudi Arabia would create over 14,500 jobs

The Saudi Arabia’s  government said that the new projects in the country would create over 14,500 jobs and added that the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is now processing 145 exploration license applications from foreign companies.

The Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources said it has secured $6 billion for a steel plate mill complex and electric vehicle battery metals plant as part of plans to lure $32 billion of investment into the mining sector.

The ministry’s target would fund nine mining projects for midstream minerals and metals, said Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar al-Khorayef, according to a statement. Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef said that the ministry has a goal to attract investments worth $32 billion to its mining and minerals sector through nine new projects.

The Kingdom is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil by investing hundreds of billions of dollars into a plan called Vision 2030.The projects are aimed at supporting supplies of mineral products to local and international markets, according to SPA.

Alkhorayef added that the ministry is currently studying 145 applications for exploration licenses from foreign companies, SPA said.

The Kingdom is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil by investing hundreds of billions of dollars into a plan called Vision 2030 initiated by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mining is one of the sectors that has been identified for expansion.

The nine projects include a $4 billion steel plate mill complex for the shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction and defense sectors and a “green” flat steel complex that will supply the automotive, food packaging, machinery and equipment, and other industrial sectors.

Both projects are already underway, as is a $2 billion EV battery metals plant.

Last month the Saudi government signed an agreement to purchase between 50,000 and 100,000 EVs over 10 years from Lucid Group Inc, which Saudi sovereign fund PIF owns a majority stake in.

The minister said the projects would create over 14,000 jobs and added the ministry is now processing 145 exploration license applications from foreign companies.

“These targeted investments represent an important ‘down payment’ in our efforts to move beyond exploration and extraction and into the creation of integrated value chains, a central focus of our overall mining strategy,” al-Khorayef said in the statement.

“The investments will continue to position the Kingdom as a mining production and logistics hub for a region that stretches from Africa to Asia, while also supporting the transformation of our mining sector so it can achieve its potential.”

Climate action is essential to help ensure a sustainable future for the global tourism industry, Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister told the UN.

In a speech during the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Ahmed Al-Khateeb underscored the vulnerability of the sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the ongoing effects of climate change and extreme weather events.

He pointed out that carbon dioxide emissions resulting from tourism are forecast to increase by 25 per cent by 2030, compared with 2016 levels, and it is therefore “critical” that action on climate change be scaled up.

“The tourism sector lost an estimated 62 million jobs globally during the global pandemic,” he said. “COVID-19 highlighted the vulnerability of the sector, not only to pandemics but also to the effects of extreme weather.

“Addressing climate change is at the heart of building a more resilient tourism industry and there is no resilience without sustainability. We must work collaboratively to put sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of inclusive recovery, to ensure long-term sector resilience for people and the planet.

“Only by doing these things together will we ensure a better and more resilient future for the millions of people around the world who rely on tourism.” Al-Khateeb said the effects of the pandemic had underscored the need to secure the future of the tourism sector and further highlighted the need to protect the environment.

Saudi authorities have launched a range of biodiversity and conservation initiatives designed to breed and protect endangered species, in line with the aims of the country’s Vision 2030 development and diversification plan.

By the end of the decade, the Kingdom aims to be conserving a total area of land 11 times the size Belgium and has committed to protecting 20 per cent of its land, coastal and marine environments. In partnership with the Middle East Green Initiative, as part of which 40 billion trees will be planted across the region, the project will restore 200 million hectares of degraded land. This represent 5 per cent of a global target of planting 1 trillion trees.

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