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UAE approves driverless cars

RIYADH: Self-driving cars will soon be on the UAE’s roads after the government approved a license for the company WeRide. The China-based firm will be able to test its vehicles in the country following an announcement by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. WeRide already has a presence in the country, as in 2022 it provided key software and hardware for the phase 1 trial of a self-driving taxi service in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia seeks to enhance partnerships with Hong Kong and China

LONDON: Saudi Arabia is keen to strengthen its cooperation with Hong Kong and ultimately mainland China, the Kingdom’s minister of communications and IT said on Sunday. Speaking at the “One Gateway Shared Vision — Hong Kong x Saudi Arabia” event in the city, Abdullah Al-Swaha said closer collaboration would help boost the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform agenda, the South China Morning Post reported.

Thales strengthens Saudi Arabia presence with focus on defense and civil aviation

PARIS: Multinational defense company Thales is committed to strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia and expanding its operations to align with the country’s Vision 2030 initiative, one of the firm’s leading figures has told Arab News. Speaking on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, Pascale Sourisse, president of Thales International, said the organization not only wants to bolster the Kingdom’s defense sector, it is also branching out into other areas such as security, civil aviation and higher education.

“Bharat Petroleum of India to Raise $2.19bn for Green Energy Expansion”

RIYADH: State-owned oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum said on Wednesday it approved raising up to 180 billion rupees ($2.19 billion) through an issue of equity shares on a rights basis, underscoring India’s push to achieve net-zero emissions goals. The details of the issue, including the price, right entitlement and timing, will be intimated separately after the board approval, it said in an exchange filing. Last week, the company said the funds would be used to achieve “energy transition, net zero and energy security objectives.”

Crude Oil Updates: Monthly Gain Expected as Supply Tightens

HOUSTON: Oil prices edged higher on Friday with Brent poised for its first monthly gain this year, as a big drawdown in US oil stocks outweighed concerns that fuel demand will be dented further by more interest rate hikes, according to Reuters. Brent crude futures for September delivery rose 16 cents or 0.2 percent to stand at $74.67 as of 7:05 a.m. Saudi time. The less-traded front month contract, which expires on Friday, was up 30 cents at $74.64. US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 8 cents or 0.1 percent to $69.95.

Saudi Arabia unemployment rate Q1 2022 drops to 5.1%

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s jobs targets outlined in Vision 2023 have borne results, with its overall unemployment rate falling 0.9 percentage points to 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period a year ago, official data showed.  According to the latest report by the General Authority for Statistics, the labor force participation of Saudis increased annually by 2.3 percentage points in the first quarter. The employment-to-population ratio also increased by 2.9 percentage points. 

Sound Energy secures $237m financing for Moroccan gas project in the UK

RIYADH: A natural gas project in east Morocco will soon be completed thanks to a new finance push from the largest bank in the North African country. UK-based Sound Energy has received a conditional offer from Attijariwafa Bank to obtain funding amounting to 2.3 billion Moroccan dirhams ($237 million) for the Tendrara-based project’s second phase, according to a statement. The funding will be allocated for completing drilling, operating wells, and building a pipeline to transport natural gas to the state’s National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water.

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