King Abdullah Economic City to host world class entrepreneurship college

The Deputy Crown Prince also held extensive talks with the economic team of the US President Barack Obama

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Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College for Administration and Entrepreneurship will be established at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh in collaboration with the American partners who are the world’s leaders in administration and entrepreneurship education. A cooperation agreement has been signed by Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation (Misk Foundation) and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) with American giants Babson Global and Lockheed Martin at a ceremony held in the presence of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, in Washington.

The agreement was signed by Bader Al-Askar, secretary general of Misk Foundation, Fahd Al-Rasheed, executive president of KAEC and vice chairman of the board of trustees of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman College for Administration and Entrepreneurship, and Babson President Dr. Kerry Healey, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Establishment of the college, regarded as the first fruit of partnership between Misk Foundation and KAEC, is compatible with the Deputy Crown Prince’s vision in developing educational and cultural standards of young Saudis.

It also keeps pace with the Saudi leadership’s aspirations toward achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 with regard to developing quality education so as to boost the economy and bridge the gap between output of higher education and requirements of the labor market. The college is also set to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as one of engines of the economic growth that contributes to job creation and supportive for innovation.

The college is the Kingdom’s first educational institution providing university degrees and postgraduate courses in entrepreneurship. Babson Global, which is the first US college of entrepreneurship education, and Lockheed Martin, one of the companies of the economic balance program, will provide their educational experiences and expertise in the higher education in accordance with innovative methodology in education and application.

The college includes a research and development center in entrepreneurship which is a first college in Saudi Arabia providing administrative and strategic studies to develop entrepreneurship field. The college gives the students an opportunity of interaction and intellectual contribution with the public and private sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Rasheed thanked Deputy Crown Prince for the trust he reposed in and the constant support he extends to the quality education sector and all his efforts to develop the talent and skills of young Saudis keeping at par with the global standards. “We are proud of launching this pioneering global institution at KAEC, and it will play an active role in supporting and developing the business sectors to encourage qualitative initiatives in the educational sector and everything required to develop the potential of Saudi youth,” he said.

On her part, Dr. Healey said: “Our decision to have partnership with the Misk Foundation and KAEC to open this prestigious institution emanates from our desire for expansion and presentation of a real model for entrepreneurship. We have seen that the visions of Misk and KAEC and their concern for education are compatible with that of our vision, as well the strategic location of KAEC is the best place to realize our educational vision,” she said adding that the output of the college would be instrumental in spurring the growth of the Kingdom’s economy.

Alana Shenouda, executive official of Lockheed Martin, said: “We are committed to support the Kingdom’s economic development through innovative programs that will bring about both revenues and sustainable advantages.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Crown Prince had a meeting with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the Pentagon on Thursday. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations as well as the existing military cooperation between the two countries and means to further strengthen them. The two leaders reviewed the latest developments in the Middle East region, and the endeavors being exerted to combat terrorism. Their talks also figured other issues of common interest.

The Deputy Crown Prince also held extensive talks with the economic team of the US President Barack Obama. The team included Director of the National Economic Council Jeffrey Zients; Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

During the meeting, they reviewed the best ways to enhance joint and continuous cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy and investment in light of the Vision 2030 and its ambitious economic programs, including the National Transformation Program. The two sides also emphasized to continue coordination in order to achieve common interests of both the countries and their peoples.

Separately, Prince Mohammed also met with Thomas Donohue, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce. They reviewed several topics related to trade and investment between the two countries and discussed ways of enhancing them. The meeting was attended by Prince Abdullah Bin Faisal Bin Turki, Saudi ambassador to the United States, the Deputy Crown Prince’s accompanying delegation and a number of American businessmen.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on June 18, 2016.