The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its 78th Anniversary today (Thursday), marking the unification of the country by King Abdul Aziz in 1932. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, usually known as Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab country of the Middle East. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. Saudi Arabia’s command economy is petroleum-based; roughly 75 percent of budget revenues and 90 percent of export earnings come from the oil industry. The oil industry comprises about 45 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with 40 percent from the private sector. Saudi Arabia officially has about 260 billion barrels of oil reserves, comprising about one-fifth of the world’s proven total petroleum reserves. Saudi Arabia is a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and numerous other international organizations. The Kingdom is a substantial contributor to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Saudi Arabia is a major provider of aid to developing countries. The Kingdom’s ratio of development assistance to Gross National Product (GNP) is the one of the highest in the world, averaging 5.5 percent, and Saudi Arabia ranks second after the US in overall assistance. On May 6, 2009, a Philippines-Saudi Arabia business forum was organized in Manila by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in cooperation with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Philippines-Saudi Business Council (PSBC). The forum was a good vehicle to foster the two nations’ partnership in the field of agriculture. The forum highlighted the advantages of the suitability of the Philippines in attracting Saudi investment as a potential strong exporter and one of the largest producers of high-quality agricultural products worldwide such as bananas, pineapples, and coconuts. We congratulate the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia led by His Majesty, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, and its Embassy in the Philippines headed by H.E., Ambassador Abdullah Al Hassan, on the occasion of the 78th Anniversary of their National Day. We wish them all the best and success in all their endeavors.