Nitaqat: 200,000 firms closed down

Updated 05 August 2014

Nitaqat: 200,000 firms closed down

More than 200,000 private firms have been closed down in a single year for failing to meet the conditions set within the Nitaqat nationalization program aimed at reducing unemployment among Saudis.
There were around 1.8 million private firms in 2013, compared with almost 2 million firms before the program was put into effect, said a Labor Ministry report.
Badr Almotawa, a Saudi business analyst, said most of these firms left the market because of the government’s campaign against illegal cover-up businesses and residency and labor law violators.
“As many as 36,951 companies remain in red and yellow categories of the Nitaqat, as they failed to employ an adequate number of Saudis,” Almotawa told Arab News.
More than half a million expats work in red and yellow-zoned companies, in which Saudis only account for eight percent of the total workforce.
Similarly, there were more than 17,000 companies classified in the red category of the nationalization scheme, including 16,498 small-sized firms, 786 medium-sized firms, 29 big companies and one gigantic establishment.
Among the 19,637 companies in the yellow category, meanwhile, 16,654 are small-sized enterprises, 2,833 medium-sized, 146 are big firms and four are gigantic companies, the ministry said.
Almotawa urged Saudis, especially the less educated, to make use of the Kingdom’s investment climate and start up small and medium-sized firms.
“Many Saudis are reluctant to do business because of a lack of awareness and experience,” he pointed out. He also urged the Human Resource Development Fund to establish training centers for Saudis.
“Saudi Arabia is the best market for business since there are no taxes,” Almotawa said, urging commercial banks and various public and private agencies to support Saudis to open SMEs and small-scale industries.
“Private firms must give a salary of at least SR6,000 to attract Saudis,” he said.

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

Updated 22 April 2019

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

  • Al-Issa lauds Russian model of national harmony and coexistence
  • Al-Issa also met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament last month

MOSCOW: The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa held a meeting with the president of the Russian People’s Council, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and other council members, where they discussed issues of common interest.

They looked into means of boosting cooperation between Russia and the Muslim world, supporting positive national integration programs and countering extremist speeches and Islamophobia.

Al-Issa lauded the Russian model of national harmony and coexistence, while Ordzhonikidze presented Al-Issa with a copy of the council’s yearly report.

At the meeting the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share their experiences in the fight against extremist ideologies, the promotion of interreligious dialogue and coexistence and the implementation of joint projects to achieve shared goals. They also stressed the pure and peaceful values of Islam and rejected all forms of extremism and Islamophobia.

The meeting was attended by the Russian deputy chairman of the Committee for the Development of Agriculture, Aygun Memedov, the chairman of the Committee on the Normalization of Relations Between Nationalities and Religions, Sheikh Albert Karganov, the Mufti of Moscow and the Khanti-Mansisk Region in Siberia Sheikh Tahir Samatov.

Last month, Al-Issa met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin. They discussed subjects related to promoting and supporting dialogue among followers of different religions and civilizations, activating cultural contacts and exchanges between the Muslim world and Russia.

Al-Issa signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and promoting tolerance. The agreement stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against extremism, intolerance, aggression and hostility among religions, races and ideologies that could lead to terrorism.

Both parties agreed to exchange information on the activities of scientific centers, cultural forums and websites.