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Josefine 01-16-2004 06:44 AM

Princess Victoria of Sweden's Official Visit to Saudi Arabia: January 2004
we can hope for some pictures

norwegianne 01-16-2004 09:03 AM

Aren't there always pictures taken at official visits?

Lena 01-16-2004 10:04 AM

Not always... sometimes, there are really less pictures...or the pics appears weeks later...e.g, when she was in Cairo, we just had a few pictures...I don´t know, which criteria for importance the press-photographers have...soemtimes you get so many pictures of a Royal event, that it´s almost boring to download them all, and sometimes you just get a single pic, or no one...but I guess there are loads of pictures produced, but not all are published (in the agencies)

Josefine 01-16-2004 11:18 AM

is the press free in Saudi Arabia, is it possible for the swedish press to follow victoria?

Dennism 01-16-2004 11:42 AM

Well, not too free. However, but since her business in the country are well-known and she will be with other dignitaries, they will probably be able to follow her around. The Saudis may be less familiar with the Swedish press people but there should be no problems. I was thinking you meant the press in general.

Josefine 01-17-2004 05:28 PM

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RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria smiles during a reception in the Swedish embassy in Riyadh 17 January 2004. The princess is heading a business delegation to the Saudi kingdom and will be heading to Jeddah tomorrow.

Josefine 01-17-2004 05:29 PM

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Josefine 01-17-2004 05:29 PM

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Josefine 01-17-2004 05:30 PM

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Josefine 01-17-2004 05:30 PM

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Josefine 01-17-2004 05:31 PM

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RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria speaks with Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz in the Swedish embassy in Riyadh 17 January 2004. The princess is heading a business delegation to the Saudi kingdom and will be heading to Jeddah tomorrow

Dennism 01-17-2004 05:34 PM

Great photos, Josefine. I like those earrings.

Dennism 01-17-2004 05:40 PM

The book she is reading is a gift from her hosts. That is Gunnar Lund who is Swedish Minister for Economic Affairs and Financial Markets with her.

"Jan 17th, 2004 - 5:30 pm"

Great photo. In the last photo, the "registered" mark for Getty Images looks like a mark on the Crown Princess' face!

Dennism 01-18-2004 02:33 AM

From the Aftonbladet(cute title)

Victoria smörjer oljeprinsarna

Svenska näringslivets besök i Saudiarabien får hjälp av prinsessan
Kronprinsessan Victoria håller hov i Saudiarabien.
Då kommer prinsen.
- Kronprinsessan är en riktig dörröppnare, säger Gunnar Lund, biträdande finansminister.
Saudiarabien har finfrämmande. En svensk näringslivsdelegation ledd av biträdande finansminister Gunnar Lund, 56, gör visit.
Längst fram står kronprinsessan Victoria, 26.
- Hon är väldigt intresserad, engagerad och duktig. Det är en enormt stor glädje att hon är med på alla möjliga vis, säger Gunnar Lund.
Med besöket vill man marknadsföra svenska företag, men också föregå med gott exempel.
- Det här är en möjlighet att lära känna landet och dem vi möter, en chans att ta upp saker som kvinnans ställning och mänskliga rättigheter, säger Lund.

Kronprinsen kom
I går kväll hade delegationen mottagning på den svenska ambassaden i huvudstaden Riyadh.
En av gästerna var den saudiske kronprinsen Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz som kom för att träffa den svenska kronprinsessan.
- Hennes närvaro skapar intresse kring den här resan och det är precis vad vi vill, säger Gunnar Lund.
I dag åker delegationen till Jeddah för att delta i ett ekonomiskt toppmöte där inte bara Gunnar Lund utan även Bill Clinton, tidigare USA:s president, kommer att tala.
- Mitt anförande heter "Den svenska erfarenheten om hur man förenar tillväxt och social välfärd". Jag kommer bland annat ta upp att vi i Sverige har en väldigt hög sysselsättningsgrad för kvinnor och att det är viktigt att man i rent ekonomiska termer inte låter den resursen slumra, säger Lund.
- Det är första gången kvinnor deltar i stor skala på mötet. Det är klart nytt, det förstår man när man varit i Saudiarabien ett tag.

"Klassisk fördelning"
Delegationen stannar till och med tisdag.
- Kronprinsessan deltar hela tiden och introducerar våra besök. När det sen går över till sakdiskussioner är jag med. Vi har den klassiska fördelningen, så att säga.
Hur många svenskar är med på resan?
- Ungefär 35 stycken.
Hur många av er är kvinnor?
- Ja, det är inte så många. Det är inte mer än en handfull.
Så på den punkten är ni ganska "saudiarabiska"?
- Ja, det kan man ju säga.

Dennism 01-18-2004 03:03 AM

Some articles about the forum itself.

Editorial: Jeddah Economic Forum
17 January 2004

Today sees the start of the latest Jeddah Economic Forum, an event, which since it began in1999 , has grown to the point where it can claim to be the region’s strategic think tank which looks in fine detail at local, regional, and international economic and social issues from a regional perspective. This 2004 forum seems set to be the most informative yet. Beneath the banner “Achieving Accelerated Growth” more than a thousand business leaders and opinion formers from around the world will be gathering at the Jeddah Hilton.

This year, the growing role of women in business will be emphasized by the fact the opening address today is being delivered by Lubna Olayan, one of the Kingdom’s leading businesswomen and the chief executive officer of Olayan Financing Company. Among other female participants will be Queen Rania of Jordan, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Professor Laura Tyson, dean of the London Business School and Dr. Thurayya Arrayed, planning adviser to Saudi Aramco.

Today’s proceedings will focus on Saudi Arabia and the creation of foundations for sustainable wealth. Tomorrow the spotlight will turn to the regional agenda looking at economies in Asia and the Middle East. Among the senior political leaders who will be contributing here will be the Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan, the Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, the recently retired Malaysian Premier Mahatir Mohamad and the foreign minister of Kazakhstan, Dr. Kassymzhomart Tokayev. The presence of Samir Shakir Mahmood, member of Iraq’s Governing Council representing post-Saddam Iraq, is significant in many ways.

The third and final day will shift the focus to international issues and look at the ways to accelerate growth worldwide. The keynote speaker will be former US President Bill Clinton, making his welcome second visit to the forum, in a session that will be moderated by Prince Faisal ibn Salman, chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, publishers of this newspaper. There will also be contributions from the former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and Sweden’s minister for international economic affairs and financial markets, Gunnar Lund.

Within what promise to be a fascinating series of presentations and debates, probably the very greatest attention should be paid to the words of Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, director general of the World Trade Organization, who will wind up the forum with a final address. WTO membership is going to bring many far-reaching changes to the Kingdom, for which both government and business are busily preparing. This is therefore a most important event at a most important time in Saudi Arabia’s history. We would like to wish all participants a fruitful and enjoyable three days.

Women Steal Limelight at JEF
Roger Harrison, Arab News Staff

JEDDAH, 18 January 2004 — Lubna Al-Olayan, chief executive officer of the Olayan Financing Company, made history yesterday with a powerful speech at the Jeddah Economic Forum as women stole the limelight. It was the first time ever that a woman was asked to give the opening keynote address at any major conference in the Kingdom. The symbolism was lost on no one in the hall.

“We need to have a society based on merit, not gender or connections,” she told an auditorium packed with more than1 ,500 delegates from around the world in her opening speech.

She set the unofficial agenda with a challenging and perceptive analysis of her vision for growth in Saudi Arabia. She firmly established the presence of women as a rich source of seriously underused talent in the Kingdom and called on the Saudi business community to acknowledge and utilize their skills.

With cool surgical precision, Lubna Al-Olayan sliced strips off the hide of conventional Saudi business thinking, saying that there is a tendency to modernize but not to change.

“Abandon the progress without change philosophy,” she said, calling for a business culture and economy that runs on talent and merit, not connections and family. “If we want Saudi Arabia to progress, we have no choice but to embrace change.” She called for a greater focus on the human resources the Kingdom already has and to view the burgeoning population weighted heavily toward youth — 60percent of the population is under 25 — as a source of future excellence. “Women must become more involved in the process in order to contribute,” she said.

She warned against protectionism in jobs, hinting that the easy ride the Kingdom enjoyed from the oil boom is long over. “It should not,” she emphasized, “be too difficult to clear out unproductive employees,” and she called on the private sector to interact with the government and structure an educational system that focuses on more productive and practically oriented academic skills with direct application to the economy.

Her speech met with rapturous sustained applause and an acknowledgement from Nahed Taher, chief financial analyst at the National Commercial Bank. “As a Saudi female I think,” she said, “we have today made history.”

Professor Laura Tyson, dean of the London Business School and a former economics adviser to former President Bill Clinton, followed on with the theme “Building Foundations for Sustainable Wealth in Saudi Arabia.”

Her speech took up many of the themes of Lubna Al-Olayan’s, highlighting what she perceived as the “mismatch” between the current training programs and the realities of the Saudi economy. Professor Tyson urged the Kingdom to diversify away from a dependence on volatile oil revenues and to get the private sector more actively involved in training and developing human resources.

“Women make up 50 percent of graduates in Saudi Arabia,” she said, “but represent only five percent of the labor force. That is a very low return on an investment. Female inclusion will boost the average household income and release a huge amount of entrepreneurial talent.”

The mood of the day was perfectly caught by Khalid Zainal Alireza, executive director, Xenel Industries, who was moderating a later session. He commented on the lack of lighting in the women’s section of the hall. “You’re in darkness over there,” he said. Came the brilliantly quick riposte from one female delegate, “We are not in darkness; you just don’t see us.” After yesterday’s events, hopefully that will all change."

Brava to Lubna. She's just following the path of Khadija.

Gita 01-18-2004 12:41 PM

Why is it Crown Princess Victoria does not have her head covered with a scarfe? From what I have been told it is the law in Saudi Arabia that a lady must cover her head.

Bubbette 01-18-2004 12:54 PM

That's what I was wondering also. Maybe because she's inside the Swedish Embassy? I don't see how there could be any photos of her outside though, as I think the Saudis require women to wear a burka.

Gita 01-18-2004 01:40 PM

Yes I suspect its because she is inside a building and not outside. If she went outside she must cover up. From what I know the law in Saudi Arabia requires a lady too cover everything except her face and hands. Perhaphs someone else maybe able to answer our question?

Dennism 01-18-2004 01:49 PM

She's inside the Swedish embassy. Western women are given some discretion but not a lot. However, when she were to go to a hospital or some other public place she would wear one. But I don't think she will at the conference itself. There will be a mixture of people of various backgrounds there. It might be the law that she would wear it in public but the police would use discretion. They wouldn't go up to her and arrest her.

Britters 01-18-2004 02:44 PM

They can arrest her? I didn't think it was really possible to arrest a Crown Princess...but then that could have a lot to do with being brought up in the US where she would have Diplomatic Immunity.

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