iThra Knowledge Attendance tops 1 Million Visitors so Far in 2014

10 April 2014 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

iThra Knowledge, Saudi Aramco’s popular outreach program passed the 1 million visitor mark earlier this week.

The popular program is designed and produced by Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and is the third such event in five months: highly successful runs in Dhahran and Jiddah attracted nearly a million visitors, and an additional 400,000 visitors are expected at al-Hasa.

Many of the visitors are returning. The program’s way of introducing information in an exciting and entertaining way is said to be one of the main reasons for coming back. Visitors also express they are happy and comfortable with the services offered by the program, such as the rest area, restaurants and cafes that cater to everyone’s needs.

CEO Highlights Importance of China Market

10 April 2014 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Khalid A. Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, recently visited Beijing to attend the China Development Forum (CDF) 2014 and to meet key stakeholders.

Over the course of his three-day visit, Al-Falih reiterated several times the strategic importance of the Chinese market. According to Al-Falih, China, the world’s largest emerging economy and already the largest exporter, will be a key focus for Saudi Aramco in the decades to come. And Saudi Aramco, as China’s reliable oil supplier, “remains strongly committed to China’s energy security and the associated oil-related investments,” Al-Falih said.

Among key stakeholders were the business partners China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Chinese media and Aramco Asia employees in the Beijing office. Al-Falih was accompanied by Ahmed A. Al-Subaey, executive director of Marketing, Supply and Joint Venture Coordination.

At the CDF, Al-Falih addressed an audience of China’s policymakers and economists as well as executives from the top 500 international enterprises. In his speech he offered Saudi Aramco’s strong support to Premier Li Keqiang’s recent declaration of war on pollution, which the Chinese Premier called “nature’s red light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development”.

Al-Falih commented on China’s energy demand growth since 1970 and noted that China has achieved a phenomenal improvement in energy intensity over the years. Compared with 1970, Al-Falih said “China’s economy is 40 times larger today in real terms, while it consumes only 12 times as much energy as in 1970.”

The current picture, however, is not as positive in terms of the energy supply mix, Al-Falih noted.

“My friends, to turn nature’s red light to green, I believe there are three transformative paths that must be triangulated as China develops truly effective and sustainable low carbon development policies,” Al-Falih said as he went on to outline these paths.

First, China’s economy will need careful rebalancing toward greater emphasis on services and more advanced, less energy intensive industries. Achieving higher energy efficiency will be a key opportunity. Critical to this is the deregulation of the energy market and energy pricing, as market signals are the most effective means of attracting investment and encouraging consumers to be judicious in energy use.

Second, the energy mix of stationary applications will need suitable rebalancing, with a larger role for gas beyond the current six percent in China, which is about a quarter of the global average, and a determined switch to clean coal must be one of China’s highest priorities.

Third, given China’s expanding mobility needs, a steady and healthy rise in transportation energy is likely, and oil will continue to dominate the transportation sector because of multiple hurdles facing electric and fuel-cell alternatives. This means China’s oil demand growth is expected to remain fairly strong. This only reinforces the value to China of being able to access reliable supplies of oil from major producers such as Saudi Aramco.

“I firmly believe that sustainable economic development and low carbon development are not mutually exclusive,” Al-Falih said. “At Saudi Aramco, we are committed to supporting China’s efforts with both, and by doing so, help turn nature’s red light to green.”

Importantly, this year’s CDF, which featured the theme “China: To Comprehensively Deepen Reform,” provided an occasion for meeting and sharing views with key government officials at a crucial time in light of China’s ongoing comprehensive reform, especially in the energy sector. This included a meeting between Al-Falih and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, along with a group of corporate executives. In addition, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and many ministers of China’s State Council spoke at the opening ceremony, highlighting China’s plans for comprehensive reform.

The many other sessions held during the forum also provided an excellent opportunity to gather valuable insight into the direction and priorities of China’s development from a diverse range of perspectives, which will help guide Saudi Aramco’s own development plans for China.

During his stay in Beijing, Al-Falih also had business meetings with Chinese business partners to further enhance the partnerships. In his meeting with Fu Chengyu, chairman of Sinopec Group, the two recounted the two companies’ cooperation both in the Kingdom and in China. Al-Falih and Fu Chengyu also explored areas where the two companies can further expand their cooperation. Al-Falih also had a business meeting with CNPC chairman Zhou Jiping, during which the two exchanged views on further expanding the two companies’ cooperation.

Al-Falih gave an interview to China Business News, one of China’s leading business media outlets. During the interview, Al-Falih further elaborated on Saudi Aramco’s commitment as China’s most reliable oil supplier. He said he believes that the ongoing free trade agreement talks between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council will bring the energy trade between China and Saudi Arabia to a new height. In addition to Saudi Aramco’s commitment as China’s most reliable oil supplier, the company is also looking forward to more oil-related investments in China, said Al-Falih.

Wa’ed Center to be Built at Dhahran Techno-Valley

10 April 2014 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Saudi Aramco and Dhahran Techno Valley (DTV) recently signed an agreement that will provide land to Saudi Aramco for building the headquarters of the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, or Wa’ed, one of the most important initiatives for nurturing entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.

The agreement was signed at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran in the presence of HE Dr. Khalid Al-Sultan, director of KFUPM and chairman of the DTV Board, and Abdallah I. Al Saadan, senior vice president of Saudi Aramco Finance, Strategy and Development. Also in attendance was Hany K. Abu Khadra, executive director of Saudi Aramco‘s Community Services, and Dr. Halim H. Radwan, designated executive president of DTV.

“This will add a qualitative and integrated addition to existing research centers in DTV and interactions between those centers and KFUPM’s faculties and students,” Al-Sultan said.

He indicated that the agreement boosted the attractiveness of DTV as Saudi Aramco, the world’s leading energy enterprise, joins other international companies in establishing centers at DTV.

The establishment of the Wa’ed Center at DTV will support Wa’ed’s goals of transforming young people’s ideas for small enterprises into a successful investment reality through cooperation with research centers at DTV and the scientists of KFUPM, Al Saadan said.

“The center will work amid an integrated atmosphere of scientific and applied innovations that will lead to the emergence of enterprises in various high and economically feasible fields to contribute to the diversification of the national economy,” Al Saadan said, adding that the center will help create more qualitative and sustainable job opportunities with its activities and training for entrepreneurs and financial and nonfinancial support of feasible business ideas.

The agreement represents a major step in the strategic cooperation between Saudi Aramco and KFUPM, represented here by DTV, and will enhance the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve a knowledge-based society and economy.

The agreement is also considered a qualitative addition to the existing cooperation between KFUPM and Saudi Aramco in supporting entrepreneurship, which culminated last year with Saudi Aramco’s launching of an incubator for innovations and entrepreneurship at KFUPM.

SAEEA Monthly Progress Meeting Minutes – April 2014

9 April 2014 | 3 comments | Annuitants | by

Saudi Aramco EmployeesM.Saleem Hamid, Engr. Iqbal A. Khan, G. Qutubuddin, Khan M. Abdulmateen, Iqbal Chughtai, Shafiq A. Khan, Kamal A. Farooqi and his granddaughter Salwa Tahreem

The monthly progress meeting of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association (SAEEA) was held on April 01, 2014.

The attendees were as follows:

  1. Kamal Ahmed Farooqi (KAF)
  2. Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan (IAK)
  3. Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan (GQK)
  4. Mohammad Abdul Matin (MAM)
  5. Shafiq Ahmed Khan (SAK)
  6. Muhammad Salim Hamid (MSH)
Saudi Aramco EmployeesBaby Salwa Tahreem

The highlights of the meeting were as follows:

  • KAF is sick and his movements have been shrieked within his house only. Friends decided to hold the meeting at his residence. All attendees inquired about his health and prayed of his fast recovery. A very delicious lunch was arranged for all attendees by KAF after the meeting.
  • Mr. Iqbal A. Chughtai, a very active SAEEA Member, presently working in Yanbu, has been in Karachi Pakistan these days. He also visited KAF to inquire about his health. He met other friends as well.
  • KAF highlighted activities took place during the month of March, 2014.
  • KAF requested MAM to survey and find good place for SAEEA 10th reunion to be held tentatively during 2nd week of May 2014.
  • KAF and other members finalized the souvenir to be distributed during the next SAEEA reunion. MAM, IAK and MSH will visit the market soon to place the order.
  • IAK informed all the attendees that as of date SAEEA website is updated. He requested all the attendees and SAEEA Members to regularly visit the website and try to leave their comments/suggestions/recommendations. This will help the website to get better rating and the SAEEA office bearers in improving their work. The URL is https://www.saeea.com.pk
  • All office bearers signed the required paper work for registration SAEEA with Pakistan Government. Completed documents were delivered to Mr. Ateeq Ur Rehman Khan, a very active SAEEA Member who is assisting in getting the job done.
  • MSH presented the updated SAEEA accounts to all attendees.
  • SAK has designed an upgraded version of SAEEA Logo which is unanimously approved. The same will be used in all future correspondence and SAEEA souvenir.
  • KAF prayed for all sick people, especially for Jameel Shamsi, Abu Iftikhar, Iftikhar Ahmed, Anwar Mirza, Safdar Mirza and others.
Saudi Aramco EmployeesEngr. Iqbal A. Khan and Iqbal Chughtai

If you have any questions then please call Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan on +92-321-701-4929 or write to him on iqbalkhan.2010@live.com.

Saudi Aramco EmployeesTayyaba Mosque where all members prayed

How to Maximize Social Security Retirement Benefits

9 April 2014 | 0 comments | Special Interest | by

Until recently, it was thought that the total lifetime Social Security benefits for someone with average life expectancy would be the same whether the beneficiary took a small benefit at 62 or waited and took a larger benefit at 70. However, the most recent research has shown that it may pay to delay the payment, at least for a handful of years.

If you are single, the cost-benefit analysis is straightforward. Delaying benefits is more favorable if you live long enough so that the extra amount you receive makes up for the benefits forfeited.

The answer truly depends on your unique financial circumstances as well as the opportunity cost of alternative investment options. Social Security grows an average of 7% per year between 62 and 70, and that does not include the cost-of-living adjustment. Investment return, however, is only one consideration when making this critical decision. One must also consider your tax rate, income needs, and how long you live (which is unpredictable!).

Below are just some of the inputs that are needed to complete the Social Security Maximization.

Reilly Financial Advisors

Reilly Financial Advisors can help you determine the best strategy to provide the greatest potential benefits by combining our sophisticated financial modeling software with individual consideration of your unique retirement needs.

For married couples, there may be even more strategies available. If you are married and your Primary Insurance Amount (the amount you are entitled to at Full Retirement Age) is less than your spouses, you can claim either a benefit on your own record or a “spousal” benefit.  Couples can maximize their joint lifetime income by coordinating their start dates.

Reilly Financial Advisors

The “Social Security Maximization” table (above) displays the clients’ applicable Social Security alternatives. This table allows you to quickly and easily compare the results of each strategy based on both the Total Lifetime Benefit (expressed in current dollars), resulting Probability of Success, and break-even point (age at which benefits break even with strategy that starts the earliest). Depending on the other elements of your Retirement Plan (in particular, the timing and relative size of major expenditures), the strategy providing the highest potential Probability of Success may be different than the strategy with the greatest Total Lifetime Benefit.

Social Security benefits can play a large role in the success of your retirement goals. We are able to quickly and easily compare and quantify Social Security filling strategies. The cost for a comprehensive and personalized Financial Plan from Reilly Financial Advisors is $1,500. A small cost considering that the Plan and process can help you to discover how to maximize this benefit. And during the financial planning process, we can also weigh and analyze whether or not you should invest in a Roth 401(k).

Please allow Reilly Financial Advisors the opportunity to provide you a Social Security Maximization strategy that can help you to achieve your individual financial goals. If you are nearing retirement and would like to learn more about maximizing Social Security, contact Mark Shane, in the Eastern Province, for a complimentary appointment at mark@rfadvisors.com or 561-414-8654.

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