Foreigners may be allowed to invest in taxed jobs

Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qassabi. (SPA)
Updated 20 March 2017

Foreigners may be allowed to invest in taxed jobs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia may allow foreigners to invest in self-employed professions in return for paying taxes at an estimated annual rate of 20 percent in a bid to curb commercial cover-up, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported.
Saudi authorities are reportedly studying procedures of imposing taxes of two types. One would be in the form of financial statements provided by a foreigner in terms of revenues, expenses and profits, the daily said. The second form of tax will be imposed on estimated profits for certain professions in which profits cannot be easily verified such as the contracting sector, which will run to 15 percent, while the rate of tax on consulting professions may go to 25 percent, the daily said.
The new procedures will treat foreigners as investors in self-employed professions without the need to have sponsors after having obtained the required licenses in areas such as workshops, groceries and contracting.
The new drive comes in conformity with statements made by Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qassabi on the sidelines of the opening of the parallel market (Nomu) last month where he said commercial cover-up is an unhealthy phenomenon and harmful to the nation’s economy.
He said his ministry has developed a study on the causes and solutions for commercial cover-up, including allowing foreigners to invest within certain regulations, and payment of tax without need to conceal their activities.
Last month, the commerce minister called for the elimination of commercial cover-up to improve the national economy and create new jobs for Saudis.
Addressing a workshop, the minister emphasized that anti-commercial concealment is an important and vital issue to improve the economy and to create new jobs. Consequently, he said, it was one of the most important initiatives of the ministry in the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.

KSA’s Madinah to host 4-day international conference on ‘humanizing cities’

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman
Updated 24 April 2018

KSA’s Madinah to host 4-day international conference on ‘humanizing cities’

  • The conference will review global trends in the areas of “humanization of cities” and “living cities
  • The event is being organized by the Development Authority of Madinah

JEDDAH: The First International Conference on Humanizing Cities will take place from May 7 to 10 at Taibah University in Madinah.

The event is being organized by the Development Authority of Madinah, under the patronage of Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah region and chairman of the Development Authority of Madinah.

The conference will review global trends in the areas of “humanization of cities” and “living cities,” looking at modern ways to develop public places, city centers and neighborhoods to improve urban spaces and the quality of urban life, so that cities are more friendly and comfortable places to live.

There will be discussions of the best ways to develop cities, and of the most suitable local and international mechanisms for doing so to most benefit residents. Ways to encourage various sectors and communities to get involved in the initiatives and humanization projects will also be examined.

There will be 20 panel discussions, including presentations, case studies and open debates on the humanization of cities. The participants will include 20 international experts in the planning and development of cities, public areas and open spaces, and 27 distinguished local experts in architecture, design, planning and urban development. The speakers come from 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Indonesia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

A number of experts and academics will take part, including: Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, a professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Charles Landry, a British planner known for his studies on creative cities; Joel Kotkin; Michael Mahaffey; Khoo Teng Chye, director of the Center for Liveable Cities in Singapore; Michael Sorkin, a professor at Columbia University in New York; Fred Kent, the founder and president of the Public Spaces Project; and Herbert Dreiseitl, director of The Liveable Cities Lab.

The conference will also feature senior officials from the Kingdom and other Gulf countries, and Saudi mayors. Directors of regional and international organizations working in the field will also take part and visit the Development Authority of Madinah to discuss the current state and future of moves to humanize cities.

Speakers will discuss a number of key themes, including the principles and practices of achieving human cities, a review of how best to manage them, and the role of local authorities, highlighting planning and design, and the part played by public areas and open spaces.

Other aspects covered by the conference include the financing and the transformation of cities to make them more suitable for all residents. The integration of environmental sustainability with humanization programs will also be discussed, as will the role of culture and education.

The conference will also present and discuss the experiences gained through the projects and initiatives that are part of the Humanization Madinah project carried out by Madinah Development Authority, which aims to make Madinah an example for the development of modern cities.

The conference is targeted at specialists in ministries and other government agencies and bodies, leaders of local administrations, and employees of non-profit organizations, private-sector institutions, universities and specialized research centers, along with other researchers and individuals interested in the field.