EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

Updated 07 April 2015
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EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), one of the region’s fastest growing and leading international airports, Tuesday unveiled its cargo village.
The launch event was presided over by Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif, in the presence of Sulaiman Abdullah Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), royal family members, top executives of several public departments and the top management of KFIA.
The cargo village is spread over half a million square meters. More than 70 percent of goods bound for the Gulf region are destined for the Kingdom, and by facilitating operations the cargo village positions KFIA as a multi-modal shipment and clearance destination, directly serving the Eastern Province and the Kingdom.
The new facility offers direct access to Saudi Arabia and bypasses the need for cargo to transship through neighboring countries.
Al-Hamdan said: "We are delighted by the launch of the first cargo village in the Kingdom, and we believe that it will play a vital role in supporting the Saudi economy. KFIA’s cargo village offers ease of shipping and cargo services while serving as a regional hub for global companies. Most importantly, the cargo village creates new economic and employment opportunities for the Eastern Province.”
For the planning and implementation of the cargo cillage, KFIA has worked in cooperation with Saudi Customs and Changi Airports International (CAI).
The cargo village has been designed to the latest international standards and has been customized to maximize convenience for airlines and freight companies operating from KFIA. The cargo village guarantees express cargo delivery with reduced shipping times and increases cargo capacity, promising operating efficiencies for freight companies.
KFIA Director-General Yousef Al-Dhahri said: “King Fahd International Airport is proud to present to Dammam, the Kingdom and the region this dynamic facility revolutionizing the way cargo is handled in the region. With our continued partnership with Changi Airports International and their efforts, we are on track to becoming one of the region’s leading aviation hubs serving both passenger and cargo traffic. We anticipate that we will soon be starting the next phase as the demand for facilities is expected to grow strongly.”
CAI CEO Lim Liang Song lauded the close working partnership among CAI, KFIA and Saudi Customs. He said: “We are proud to be part of this partnership in bringing this innovative facility to Dammam. The cargo village will provide greater connectivity and cost efficiencies, and enhance KFIA’s position as a key regional cargo hub on the Eastern seaboard of the Kingdom.”
The two-year construction commenced in December 2012 and is now fully operational. The first of its kind for multimodal facilities in the Kingdom, the cargo village has attracted leading international and regional freight companies, such as DHL Express, NAQEL, SMSA Express, TNT and UPS, to establish express cargo clearance facilities and offices at the King Fahd Cargo Village.


Israel’s tech sector faces challenge from shortage of workers

Updated 16 December 2018
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Israel’s tech sector faces challenge from shortage of workers

  • The sector accounts for about 45 percent of Israel’s exports
  • Arabs account for only 3 percent of tech workers but this is expected to change soon as 18 percent of all computer science students today are Arab

TEL AVIV: Israel is struggling to recruit enough workers to its technology sector, a report showed on Sunday, creating a challenge for an industry seen as the country’s main potential driver of economic growth over the next decade.
Start-Up Nation Central, which published the report with the Israel Innovation Authority, said that while the number of high-tech workers in Israel had grown over the past five years, their percentage of the labor force remained unchanged.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the required growth will not be possible if the country’s supply of tech workers is inadequate,” said Eugene Kandel, head of Start-Up Nation Central
“Tech companies are struggling to find tech professionals, with many already finding (them) overseas.”
The number of tech workers — who earn more than double the average wage — grew to 280,000 in 2017 from 240,000 in 2013 but represent only 8 percent of the workforce, down from nearly 10 percent in 2008.
This is surprising given that investment into high-tech has soared, with venture capital funding exceeding $5 billion in 2017 and closing in on $6.5 billion this year. The number of multinationals operating development centers in Israel jumped to nearly 350 in 2016 from around 50 in 2000.
The sector accounts for about 45 percent of Israel’s exports. But about 15,300 positions remain open.
To find workers, Israeli companies are opening development centers overseas, mainly in Ukraine but also in the United States, Russia and India. Several dozen firms have also taken advantage of a rapid process established by the government in 2018 to obtain special visas for foreign tech workers.
But in the long term more initiatives are needed to increase the pool of workers, Kandel told reporters. There is great potential among women, who represent only 23 percent of tech workers, as well the largely untapped Arab and ultra-Orthodox Jewish sectors.
Arabs account for only 3 percent of tech workers but this is expected to change soon as 18 percent of all computer science students today are Arab, similar to their share of the population.
One obstacle for their employment in high-tech is that they live far from the country’s center.
Aharon Aharon, head of the government’s Innovation Authority, said he would launch two plans in the first quarter of 2019 — one to provide incentives in building an innovation ecosystem in the periphery and another to encourage tech companies to open branches outside of the center.