‘Made in China’ label discourages Saudis

Updated 22 January 2014
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‘Made in China’ label discourages Saudis

China may have emerged as a major outsourcing destination for Western companies and brands to manufacture their products, but in Saudi Arabia, the “Made in China” mention on labels of even popular brands is enough to discourage Saudi consumers from buying them. This is mainly because of popular perception among the citizens that all Chinese products are fakes.
Be it branded clothes, shoes or other consumer goods, they are invariably produced in China, and this leaves a lot of Saudis wondering why these products dominate the local market. Not many are aware that several US and European firms have set up factories not only in China, but also other Asian countries where labor comes cheap. And this is why many Saudis get surprised after looking at the high price tags of Western brands with ‘Made in China’ labels. Their immediate reaction is that it could be a fake product or commercial fraud being perpetrated on consumers.
However, the discerning and better informed section of Saudi consumers does not suspect the authenticity of such products, since they are aware that several Western firms face problems in their own countries like environmental and pollution issues.
Hisham Al-Mutlaq, a Saudi investor, said: “It is the responsibility of Western companies to export raw materials to their factories in China or wherever they exist. That’s how some of the Western products made in China are of high quality and meet the required international standards.”
Al-Mutlaq, however, did not deny the existence of some Arab brokers in China. “They play a big role in facilitating import of some counterfeit products at lower prices into the Kingdom and sell them as global items.”
Zuhair Al-Sheikh, a Saudi employee in the private sector, says: “As a consumer, I’m not worried about ‘Made in China’ products at high prices. But there are some products like electronic devices which are made in Japan which come under the ambit of commercial fraud.”
Some vendors have specialized in selling counterfeit products. They sell watches of Swiss brands, which are not genuine. But the vendors are still in business because they know that some consumers buy the fakes since they can’t afford genuine products that are expensive.




“If anyone wants to buy a genuine watch of a reputable brand, he must then go to one of its authorized agents. But when they come to us, we know they want to buy a cheaper, counterfeit watch of a reputed brand. That’s why we are in business,” a Yemeni vendor in downtown Jeddah said.
Chinese counterfeit products, particularly clothes and shoes carrying Western brand names, have flooded the market. It is common knowledge that most of the companies that manufacture these products are from Western companies.

“Many Saudi traders import their goods from China at cheap prices and sell them in the Kingdom at high rates,” Mohammad Al-Farhan, a Saudi dealer selling clothes said, adding: “About 60 percent of goods are made in China, while 80 percent of the goods made in the country are in the clothing sector.”


Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. (SPA)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030
  • Vision 2030 seeks to make Saudi Arabia non-oil based economy and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and, NEOM, are part of the efforts to lure in investors and promote tourism sector.

JEDDAH: June 21 marked one year of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia.Since assuming the role, the crown prince, fondly known as MBS, has been working for the socioeconomic transformation of the Kingdom.
He is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and reduce its dependence on oil income.
Among the reforms envisaged in the Vision 2030 plan are the reopening of cinemas and allowing both sexes to attend concerts.
Another major development is the lifting of a ban on women driving. From June 24, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to take the wheel. The crown prince’s Vision 2030 reform plan seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from the current 22 percent.
In a statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that as the architect of Saudi Vision 2030, the crown prince was inspiring the country’s youth and introducing structural changes to the Saudi economy and society.
Al-Othaimeen said that in one year he had taken many important initiatives at the national and international level and reinforced Saudi Arabia’s leading role in defending and supporting issues related to the wider Muslim world.
In this area, the OIC chief said, the most notable achievement was the creation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.
Vision 2030 seeks to boost the Saudi non-oil based economy, and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and NEOM, the futuristic mega city, are part of efforts to attract investors and promote the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
Saudi Minister of Telecommunications and IT Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that the Kingdom is geared up to achieve the goals of socioeconomic transformation as envisaged in Vision 2030. He said that during the last year Saudi Arabia had achieved great success in this ambition.
Civil Services Minister Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan said that last year was characterized by many achievements. The Kingdom, he said, witnessed the continuation of the successful implementation of the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which covers all aspects of life.
Saudi Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa said: “Our country is looking forward to a bright future in line with an ambitious vision. It is standing at the threshold of great transformation.”
Saudi Arabia has also witnessed several unprecedented developments since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began implementing his reform plans. In a bid to ensure transparency in the financial system to promote international investments, the Kingdom launched a drive to root out corruption from society without discrimination.
Saudi Justice Minister Dr. Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, who is also president of the Supreme Judicial Council, said that the crown prince is a leader whose impact has surpassed local and regional levels. He has emerged as one of the most influential figures at the global level, he said.
Islamic Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ashiekh said: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a comprehensive national development program that seeks to achieve prosperity for the country. The crown prince has worked very hard to achieve many goals in record time.
“The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has received a great deal of support and attention from the crown prince to help fight extremist and deviant ideologies.”
The minister said that these efforts come within the framework of Vision 2030 to eradicate all sources of corruption.
MBS’s history of philanthropic initiatives has earned him many awards. In 2011, he established the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which enables young Saudis to learn, develop and progress in the fields of business, literature, culture, science and technology, and sociology.
“The crown prince’s initiatives in relief and humanitarian work have been admired and praised by the UN and its related organizations,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and an adviser to the royal court.
Al-Rabeeah said that the crown prince had allocated $66.7 million to fight the cholera epidemic in Yemen, in addition to his efforts to help the needy throughout the world without discrimination.
He said that the crown prince had worked hard to build a new phase of progress and prosperity for the country with the help of the youth who are the core of the Kingdom’s future.
In recent years, the crown prince has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. In a country where about 60 percent of the population is under 30, the young crown prince is widely seen as an icon in the push toward socioeconomic reforms.
The crown prince also heads the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which aims to establish a seamless mechanism to achieve Vision 2030 goals.