Saudis pick Singapore as link
- Published: 22/03/2013 at 09:42 AM
- Online news:
The Saudi-Singapore Business Council has picked Singapore as the Asean region's hub to sell Saudi-manufactured products, a report from Riyadh said on Friday.The Saudi-Singapore Business Council has picked Singapore as the Asean region's hub to sell Saudi-manufactured products, a report from Riyadh said on Friday.
The decision emphasises Saudi Arabia's continuing decision to shun official business ties with Thailand over the jewellery theft and murders of more than 20 years ago.
The decision to pick Singapore as the hub came earlier this week at a meeting in Riyadh of the Saudi-Singapore Joint Business Council, according to a report in the Arab News.
"We are working out the modalities for the implementation of the proposal, which will be announced soon," said council co-chairman Abdullah Al-Meleih, the report said.
At present, Singapore is the official base for Saudi Arabian petrochemical sales in the Asean region.
Under the new deal, Singapore would act as regional hub for all Saudi-made products bound for countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei.
A company to handle will deal will be set up in Singapore, with an investment of 100 million Saudi riyal, or about 778 million baht.
Saudi Arabia has shunned business deals and downgraded diplomatic relations with Thailand since a major heist of jewellery by a Thai employee of a Saudi prince, now the king.
The so-called "blue diamond affair" in 1989 was made worse by the murders in Bangkok of two Saudi intelligence agents and a businessman. The murders, probably by Hezbollah agents, never have been solved.
Thai workers have been banned in Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh has taken official steps to try to bar Saudi tourists from visiting Thailand.
Last month, the Saudi interior ministry turned down a request by manpower officials to allow Thai maids and nannies.
Lee Yi Shyan, right, Singapore's trade minister, speaks at the Saudi-Singapore Business Council meeting on Tuesday. The chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Abdullah Al-Mobty, is at centre. (Photo by Arab News)