The wealth of Saudi Arabia is not oil and gas but human resource.
Now we are following a similar footstep of the Japanese experience of human resource development after Meiji Restoration. The world ranking of the Saudi universities is relatively higher in the Arab world. However, we are not content to the present position. We have intention and motivation to improve the level of higher education.

So far, our relationship with Japan is strongly concentrated on establishment of petrochemicals plants and trading. Besides oil and automobiles, it is high time to initiate cooperation in the fields of culture, education and science and technology.

In fact, the government of Saudi Arabia has started King Abdullah Scholarship Program in 2005. Many students have already come to Japan for study under this Program. We would like to realize academic cooperation and acceptance of students, workshops, symposia, collaborative R&D, training program, MOU, project-based cooperation and from a variety of approaches, we can build a strategic partnership with Japan.

We wish to further strengthen relationships between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Cultural Attaché
Dr. Eng. Essam Bukhary

Why is Saudi Arabia strategically important to the world?

There are three reasons.

Firstly, Makka and Madina, two holy and precious places of Islam and the heart of the Muslim world are located at Saudi Arabia. Islam spread from Saudi Arabia and more than 2,000,000 pilgrimages visit Saudi Arabia every year. Every Muslim prays five times a day facing to Makka, and spiritually connects with Saudi Arabia.

Secondly, Saudi Arabia has the world largest oil reserves and greatest oil production capacity. World economy has been benefited from Saudi Arabia for a long time because of its stable energy supply to the world.

Lastly, Saudi Arabia is a political leader of the Arab Islamic world. It is proved that Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country participated in G20.

Why is Saudi Arabia urging human resource development now?

As 80% of national revenues depend on oil revenue, Saudi economy is adversely affected by the oil price change. To depart from oil-dependent economy, Saudi Arabia promotes industrialization and initiates various collaborative projects with foreign enterprises.

And therefore, Saudi Arabia needs capable human resources who can work for the diversification of Saudi economy.

For this urgent need, King Abdullah Scholarship Program was initiated in 2005. There are now 7 million students sent abroad to gain skill and knowledge in U.S.A., Canada, Australia, France and Germany.

Recently, in order to foster relationships with Asian countries, cultural office was established in Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2008.

The function of cultural office is not only student supports in foreign countries but cultural and educational activities as a whole to promote academic collaboration of Saudi universities with foreign universities and better understanding of Saudi culture.