The Euro-Gulf Monitor

14 - 20 October 2022

by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Bahrain and Israel inked two strategic cooperation deals in agriculture and food.

  2. Qatar inaugurated the country’s first solar power plant.

  3. Kuwait’s Crown Prince decreed a reshuffle of the recently formed Cabinet.

  4. EU-Saudi Arabia discussed collaboration in joint events and energy security.

  5. The UAE pledged €100 million (EUR) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

وقعت البحرين وإسرائيل اتفاقيتي تعاون استراتيجي في الزراعة والغذاء

افتتحت قطر أول محطة للطاقة الشمسية في البلاد

أصدر ولي العهد الكويتي مرسوما بتعديل وزاري تم تشكيله مؤخرا

ناقش الاتحاد الأوروبي والمملكة العربية السعودية التعاون في الأحداث المشتركة وأمن الطاقة

تعهدت الإمارات بتقديم 100 مليون يورو كمساعدات إنسانية لأوكرانيا

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Wednesday, 19 October—Bahrain and Israel inked two agricultural and food security cooperation agreements. As part of the deal, the two countries will share technologies and technical know-how to enhance the quality of food products. The agreement was signed by Bahrain’s Minister of Agriculture, Wael bin Nasser Al-Mubarak, and his Israeli counterpart, Oded Forer, on the sidelines of the International Summit on Food Technologies from the Sea and the Desert in Eilat. 

State of Kuwait

Sunday, 16 October—Kuwait’s Crown Prince, Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, approved a reshuffle of the recently formed Cabinet, following criticisms for not reflecting the results of the September elections. The change included the appointment of Bader Hamed Al-Mullah as Deputy Prime Minister and Oil Minister. Three days later, the Kuwait National Assembly named Ahmad Al-Saadoun as Parliamentary Speaker for the 17th legislative session.

Sultanate of Oman

Monday, 17 October—Muscat hosted the Oman-British Investment Forum, aimed at enhancing investment partnerships notably in renewable energy, green hydrogen, technology, infrastructure and education. The forum comes as part of Oman’s bid to attract foreign investment and diversify its economy and UK’s efforts to increase economic relations with the GCC countries. The event was co-chaired by Oman’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Qais Mohammed Al-Yousef, and British Ambassador to Oman, Bill Murray.

State of Qatar

Tuesday, 18 October—Qatar inaugurated its first solar power station, the Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant. The €467 million (EUR) worth plant is expected to provide up to 10% of the country’s energy demand with its output capacity of 800 megawatts. The plant was built in partnership with the French energy giant, TotalEnergies, Japan’s investment firm, Marubeni, and a consortium of Chinese manufacturing firms.

Wednesday, 19 October—QatarGas awarded a €4.5 billion (EUR) contract to Italy’s energy firm, Saipem, the biggest in the history of the Milan-based company. As part of the deal, Saipem will develop two offshore gas compression plants to help boost gas production in the North Field area as part of Qatar’s wider objective of becoming the world’s largest gas producer by 2030.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 19 October—Saudi Arabia launched a new National Industry Strategy in a bid to increase the value of the country’s industrial exports to €149 billion (EUR) by 2030. The plan calls for increasing the number of factories in the country to 36,000 by 2035 and includes more than 136 public and private initiatives, which seek to attract investments in the industrial sector and boost economic diversification.

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 16 October—The UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Mohamed Al-Hussaini, was elected Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Minister Al-Hussaini will be responsible for the management of sustainable development programmes for developing countries.

 

Monday, 17 October—UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, announced that the country will send €100 million (EUR) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, reaffirming its efforts to limit the conflict’s impact on the civilian population and promote dialogue. The announcement followed a phone call between the Emirati leader and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during which they discussed the possibilities for a diplomatic solution to the war.

EU Corner

Tuesday, 18 October—The Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, met with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the EU, Saad Mohammed Alarify, in Brussels. They discussed EU-Saudi cooperation in holding joint public events and intensifying official visits exchange. On the same day, Ambassador Alarify also received Director General of the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA), Agnieszka Kazmietczak, discussing EU-Saudi collaboration in energy security.

 

Thursday, 20 October—Saudi Arabia’s Director for Visas at the Foreign Ministry, Khalid Al-Shammari, hosted senior officials of the EU Delegation to the Kingdom to discuss EU-Saudi logistics collaboration in visa issuances ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Key Official Visits

Tuesday, 18 October—The Health Ministers of Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, as well as the Head of Saudi Arabia’s international aid charity KSRelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, travelled to Berlin for the World Health Summit 2022. The event aimed to strengthen international cooperation for innovative health technologies and solutions, particularly focusing on pandemic preparedness and health in times of conflict.

 

Wednesday, 19 October—Wednesday, 19 October‒The UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, to review the initiatives presented by the GCC to achieve security and stability in Yemen. Secretary General Al-Hajraf reaffirmed the organisation’s support for the achievement of inclusive peace in the country.

 

Thursday, 20 October—A Saudi delegation, led by Saudi Arabia’s Economy and Planning Minister, Faisal bin Fadhil Al-Ibrahim, travelled to Madrid for the third meeting of the Saudi-Spanish Joint Committee. The forum seeks to develop the two countries’ business relations by enhancing investment and joint economic projects. The Saudi delegation included senior representatives from the Ministries of Energy, Finance, Tourism, Industry, Environment and Agriculture, among others.