Saudi Arabia ‘seriously considering’ underwater cables with Europe and India: investment minister

Saudi Arabia ‘seriously considering’ underwater cables with Europe and India: investment minister
Saudi Arabia ‘seriously considering’ underwater cables with Europe and India: investment minister

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is mulling over using underwater cables to connect with India and Europe, according to the Kingdom’s minister of investment. 

Speaking during a panel discussion at the 7th Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Khalid Al-Falih said one of the anchor themes of Saudi Vision 2030 is the Kingdom’s unique location between Asia, Africa, and Europe making it a hub for trade and connectivity. 

“Connecting countries like India and Saudi Arabia, despite the distance and the depth of the oceans, through submarine cables is something that we’re very seriously considering, just as we're considering connecting with Europe, not only on the data cable that has been already set in construction with Europe through Cyprus and Greece but also through electrification,” Al-Falih said. 

He added that the electrification of various sectors is needed to help make them environmentally friendly. 

“Some sectors have to grow rapidly. So greening of energy consumption, greening of manufacturing, greening of logistics, which involves bringing new fuels. Electrification is part of that greening,” said the minister. 

He also noted the Kingdom’s strong investor base and emphasized the fundamental stability and long-term investment opportunities it offers. 

Furthermore, the event shed light on a rapidly evolving global landscape that is reshaping priorities and requirements, with three main resolutions taking center stage. 

According to Richard Attias, CEO of FII Institute, these resolutions will shape a collective future with a focus on artificial intelligence, inclusive environmental, social, and governance considerations, and addressing humanity’s most pressing concerns. 

Rakan Tarabzoni, chief operating officer of FII Institute, presented insights from the FII Priority Compass, a global survey spanning over 23 countries, representing approximately 60 percent of the world’s population. 

He revealed that the survey indicated a 30 percent increase in the cost of living and quality of life as the top humanity priority, a 55 percent rise in social inclusion encompassing issues of identity, human connection, and reliable internet, and a 53 percent increase in concern over climate change compared to a year ago.

“Those three priorities tell us that there is a need to call to action,” Tarabzoni added. 
He explained that the FII Institute plays a vital role in addressing these concerns by providing collective thought leadership to better understand immediate needs, facilitating global leaders’ alignment on addressing these priorities, and taking action to identify innovative solutions and locally lead initiatives for investor scaling. 

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund and chairman of the FII Institute, highlighted the potential of AI in creating a more inclusive society and driving the world towards a sustainable development model. 

“If harnessed for good, AI has the power to create a more inclusive society. To make this happen, global collaboration is needed along with internationally aligned regulations and governance,” he said. 

Al-Rumayyan added: “As AI advances, it will accelerate global trade in numerous ways. It is predicted that 70 percent of companies will adopt at least one type of AI by 2030.”  

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