Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

Updated 28 October 2016
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Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

JEDDAH: A citizen has sent a complaint to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC or Nazaha), calling for investigation into an alleged case of corruption involving the appointment of the son of Civil Service Minister Khaled Al-Araj to the post of project manager for a monthly salary exceeding SR21,000.
The complaint came soon after the minister stated that the typical Saudi employee does not spend more than one hour a day to do real work, a statement most Saudis deemed offensive.
Saad Al-Thuwaini wrote a complaint letter to Nazaha President Khaled Al-Muhaisin, claiming abuse of power on the part of the minister.
Al-Thuwaini asked that the matter be investigated and that the minister’s son undergo an examination to establish his credentials.
He took issue with the salary earned by the minister’s son, which is rarely obtained by regular Saudis working in whatever specialties and holding whatever qualifications.
The minister insists that his son was not shown favoritism when hired.
The NACC took the complaint seriously, acting promptly.
The anti-corruption body’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Al-Ajlan, said the commission monitors media and Internet news and takes action to ensure the implementation of the national strategy to protect integrity and fight against corruption.
He said the commission is monitoring regularly the social network postings regarding the hiring of the minister’s son.
“I would like to remind all that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman said that the Kingdom does not tolerate corruption of any sort and that no one is above the law,” said Al-Ajlan.
That matter was not discussed by the Nazaha alone, but also by Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) President Prince Sultan bin Salman, who said it is not right to say that citizens do not work and that Saudi Arabia lacks expertise in various fields of work.
A video circulated on social media shows Prince Sultan saying that “the country’s development and achievements over the past years are fantastic and quite difficult to believe ... we cannot say that the citizens do not work and there is no development.”
Prince Sultan said: “Who built this country? Who united it before the discovery of oil, and before economic prosperity? Those who accomplished this were the citizens who trust God Almighty, who stand side by side, who always support their state, who believe in this state, in this place and its future.”


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.