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Japanese to set up SR80m automobile institute in Jeddah
Jeddah 27th May 2001

  The General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training and Japan International Cooperation Agency signed here yesterday an SR80 million cooperation agreement for setting up the Saudi-Japanese Automobile High Institute Project in Jeddah. The move is expected to promote Saudization in the automotive maintenance sector.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Ali ibn Nasser Al-Ghafis, governor of GOTEVOT, and Yukio Otsu, vice president of JICA. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Namla, Japanese Ambassador Shotaro Oshima and Kuniaki Nagata, JICA resident representative in Riyadh, were present at the signing ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Ghafis said the agreement lends a new direction to the bilateral relations following the landmark visit of Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, to Japan in October 1998.

Since then, Saudi-Japanese relations have been developing in various fields, including cultural and youth exchange programs, sports as well as cooperation in the establishment of an automobile technical training institute.

He said the agreement symbolizes cooperation between GOTEVOT and JICA on the one hand and between the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (JAMA) and  the Japanese Automobile Distributors in the Kingdom (JADIK) on the other. He thanked the Japanese ambassador, JAMA and JADIK  for their untiring efforts in laying the foundation of the project.

The GOTEVOT  governor hoped that the example set by JAMA and JADIK would inspire other multinational companies in the Kingdom to establish similar projects.

Six Japanese automobile manufacturers — Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Suzuki, Isuzu and Daihatsu — are cooperating in the venture, while Honda and Mitsubishi are examining the project. When completed, it will provide new job opportunities for the Saudis in the repair and maintenance of Japanese vehicles.

Of the SR80 million cost of the project, JICA is contributing SR29 million over a five-year period toward the cost of equipment. The balance, for the construction of the institute, will be raised by JAMA and JADIK. The government has allocated a 70,000-square kilometer plot for the project free of cost southeast of Jeddah city.

The institute will graduate three batches of more than 600 trainees over a five-year period. It will accept 200 high school graduates who will be put through a two-year training program at the institute. The graduates will be trained on regular and routine repair work of passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The teaching staff will consist of 24 technical instructors, 15 general education teachers and 18 administrative personnel.

Source: Arab News©

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28 May 2001 07:38:42 PM

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