SAGIA to remove obstacles for private sector

Updated 26 January 2016
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SAGIA to remove obstacles for private sector

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will introduce many policies and procedures in the future to promote economic activities for privatization and to overcome legislative, regulatory and bureaucratic obstacles facing the private sector, said SAGIA Gov. Abdullatif Al-Othman.
The governor was speaking while inaugurating the 9th Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) in Riyadh on Sunday. More than 2,500 local and foreign delegates from all parts of the world are attending GCF 2016.
Featuring over 80 international speakers, the forum brings together global business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to network and discuss the positive impact organizational and national competitiveness can have on local, regional, global economic and social development.
The speakers listed during the conference include Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, Health Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih, Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa and Housing Minister Majed Al-Hogail.
“It goes without saying that these steps will contribute to support the economy of Saudi Arabia, which occupies a prominent position among the Top 20 economies of the world,” he said.

“It is the largest economy in the Middle East and the fourth-fastest growing economy in the G20 after India, China and Indonesia.”
He said the investment plan for health care provides promising investment opportunities valued at SR40 million. He also pointed out that the investment in the education sector plan offers opportunities worth SR25 million.
Al-Othman said the forum will focus on “competitive sectors” as theme and will shed light on the ingredients that are essential in driving the competitiveness of sectors, the strategies that governments should follow to accelerate competitiveness and, most important, the role of competitive sectors in maintaining a sustainable economic growth.
The forum will draw focus on the priority sectors that have been identified to have a direct impact on economic and human development; sectors such as health care and life sciences, transport, education, ICT and services sector, such as tourism, financial services, real estate and professional consulting.
Al-Othman recalled that the forum is being held at a time when the Kingdom is celebrating the first anniversary of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s accession the throne. “We have witnessed tremendous developments during this short period,” he said.


OPEC chief: Group must stay together as US sanctions Iran

Updated 30 min 19 sec ago
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OPEC chief: Group must stay together as US sanctions Iran

  • Production cut agreement now a "permanent feature"
  • Brent already near $80 per barrel

FUJAIRAH: OPEC must stick together for the good of the global economy as founding member Iran faces renewed US sanctions, the head of the group said Tuesday — though he did not address how an already-tight market will make up for the loss of Iranian supply.
Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo also said an agreement between OPEC and non-members that cut production and helped bring prices back up from lows of $30 a barrel in January 2016 was now “a permanent feature.”
Cementing that arrangement would be one of the topics of discussion as OPEC meets this Sunday in Algeria, he added.
Still, OPEC will face rising anger from Iran, which feels increasingly under pressure after President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May.
Crushing US oil sanctions on Iran will resume in early November and already, American allies in Asia are cutting back on their purchases of Iranian crude.
The US moves have gotten furious reactions from Iran, especially amid talk of American officials asking Russia and Saudi Arabia to make up the difference.
“Mr. Trump’s attempt to prevent Iran from appearing on the global crude oil markets has allowed Russia and Saudi Arabia, which would not favor low prices, to pursue hostage-taking policies in the market,” Iranian OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Saturday.
Barkindo said: “Iran is not only a founding member of OPEC, it’s a very important member of this organization. We have no choice but continue to work with all parties.”
Benchmark Brent crude already is nearing $80 a barrel and analysts believe it may go even higher as production remains low. A loss of Iranian supply likely will further drive up prices.
Trump, facing midterm elections in the US, already has called for more oil production from Saudi Arabia and OPEC to bring down prices with limited effect. A gallon of regular gasoline costs on average $2.85 in the US, up from $2.62 a year ago, according to AAA.
Barkindo praised the agreement between OPEC and non-members that cut production and said the cartel would work to make it permanent.
“The declaration of cooperation has come to stay,” he said.