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