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Saudi Press Roundup

Crushing terror

SAUDI security forces are successfully fighting against the scourge of terrorism. The country’s security apparatus is effectively taking action against terrorists and their backers, which is evident from the preemptive strikes busting terror network in parts of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom’s security forces are working over time to fight terrorism and its efforts are also helping ensure international peace and security.
Saudi Arabia has been in the forefront of countries in the global fight against terrorism, violence and extremism. The Kingdom has vehemently contributed to all global conventions aimed at eradicating all forms of terrorism.
Security is a feeling of peace and tranquility and in addition to that it is an indicator of progress of nations and mindful of that Saudi Arabia was, and still is, determined to wipe out all kinds of terrorists.
Saudi Arabia has always stressed the importance of consolidating values of understanding, tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding between people. The Kingdom also called for rapprochement between cultures and rejected the theory of clash of civilizations. Saudi Arabia calls on the international community to put up a joint front against any ideology that calls for hatred, incites violence and condones terrorist crimes, which are rejected by all religions or laws.
Saudi Arabia will remain a leader in the fight against terrorism and its seriousness in this context has been reflected in the successive and successful operations to eradicate terrorism in different parts of the Kingdom.

— By Saad bin Abdulqadir Al-Quwai


Home-based investments

SAUDI women have expressed willingness to enter into all sectors of the country’s economy that will serve them and push forward the wheel of development if appropriate environment is provided to them.
Therefore, a new concept has emerged to support home (domestic) investments sector aimed primarily to activate Saudi young work force, notably women.
Prospects of success of this type of investments are high due to low risk, decreased production costs and high turnout of citizens to buy their products.
Among many advantages, a female investor can determine certain times for work while looking after her family affairs. Low cost of production will encourage her to start with a small project that will grow later.
Home-based investments are aimed at enhancing creativity and promoting handicrafts of the investors and at same time protect her dignity in accordance with norms, values and traditions of the Saudi community.
On the other hand, exhibitions of female entrepreneurs and productive families represent key marketing outlets of their products and services. Women projects from home may act as a nucleus of future investment projects, which after a while, may develop into a distinct project for the community and the national economy, in the long run.

— By Saad Al-Subaei


Treatment of domestic workers

A citizen reportedly kept a maid in his house, prevented her from traveling to her country for 13 years and delayed payment of her salary (SR98,000) during that period.
Fortunately, the citizen was arrested pending his trial and the delayed salaries were paid to the worker.
The problem in this context is that the hired employee is ignorant of his (her) rights and the employer exploits this ignorance to commit what is against the system. The Labor Office’s plan to spread awareness among house workers through the new media is a good idea.
For example, the system has obliged the employer to give a domestic worker nine hours of rest on a daily basis and one day off in a week. The system orders an employer to respect her dignity and not to exploit her in other jobs, which are totally different from her job mentioned in the contract.
Sending regular messages and legal tips to domestic workers in their own languages on their mobile phones, will make them know their rights properly.
The awareness messages will, meanwhile, make employer more cautious in dealing with them while the creation of a hot line to receive complaints will stop any violator and hold him accountable according to the law.

— By Siraj Abu Al-Saud


Checking flow of funds

SAUDI Arabia is the second top money remitting countries in the world after the United States.
The volume of money transfers exceeds $20 billion per annum in the Kingdom compared to an average of $48 billion in the United States.
The number of expatriate workers in the GCC countries is estimated at 15 million, or 36.3 percent of the GCC population.
India tops the countries receiving expat remittances from the GCC countries, or 40 percent of the total remittances, followed by Egypt (10 percent), Pakistan (8 percent) and the Philippines (7.5 percent).
In general, expat workers dominate labor markets in the GCC countries and in Saudi Arabia they control 90 percent of the small-scale businesses.
No doubt, expat workers have enormously contributed to the progress of the country. However, during the last few decades due to an increase in the number of expatriates, the remittance figures have also jumped to an unprecedented level.
Therefore, the Saudi Vision 2030 aims at curbing the flow of funds outside the Kingdom and ensure to keep them inside the Kingdom through the introduction of new and special residence system of the money remitters.
This step will significantly contribute to the national economy and achieve the desired goals of development.

— By Ibrahim Mohammed Badawood


Improving quality control

WE have to focus on improving quality and standards in all business sectors including the construction sector.
The construction sector is experiencing a remarkable progress, which necessitates the upgrading of quality standards based on the latest approaches. Share of the construction sector to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 6.8 percent last year, which is poised to grow and achieve an added value to the national economy that is strongly heading for activating Vision 2030.
One of the areas within the construction sector badly needs improvement of quality i.e. ready-mixed concrete plants.
According to the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), there is a blueprint for quality mark, which will motivate the companies in this area to comply with the set standards. If adopted by concrete companies, the quality project would provide high production potentials whereby projects will be implemented in accordance with the required standards.
Almost all projects need high quality products because the macroeconomic movement primarily needs strong elements, which are committed to the highest standards. Therefore, the Vision 2030 needs further expansion in quality improvement in a manner that will make facilities and factories fully committed to such quality standards.
Quality simply means the accuracy, which projects, services and products are supposed to follow and it is not limited to end products but expands into the administrative systems which plan, implement, follow up and supervise such projects.
As long as there is a model quality standard, we are really putting ourselves on the shortest path to realize our goals.

— By Said Al-Hajri


Technology transfer

TRANSFER and localization of technology is one of major objectives of the Vision 2030 to rationalize spending and shift from consumption to production-based community.
The plan is also meant to unify scientific efforts in a national project to transfer skills and knowledge coping with our environment.
However, technology transfer has been a challenge for Saudis as they try to acquire details of industries notably military. Saudi Arabia is currently making enormous efforts to increase coordination with producing countries to obtain all the details about their products or have their branches established in the Kingdom on a long-term basis.
The latter step will allow the Saudi side to know everything about the industry and will train Saudi cadres. We cannot speak about economic partnerships and investments unless the issue of technology transfer is put on the list of priorities. Here, global factories could be invited to Saudi industrial cities with provision of all facilities in order to have access to their manufacturing techniques.
Faced with the need of technology transfer and localization, we should reconsider the current efforts distributed in more than one government institution and unify that work under one system called the “ministry of scientific research.”
Based on data released by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), there are more than 649 scientific and research centers in the Kingdom. Most of these centers have not achieved their goals due to shortage of finance, on the one hand, and non-existence of cooperation between them, on the other. Therefore, there is a pressing need to establish the “ministry of scientific research” with its prime concern on technology transfer and localization and preferably its nucleus be the KACST supported by universities and ministries concerned with scientific research.

— By Ahmed Al-Jimaia