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250 Saudi women to get jobs as part of SR500m project launched in Riyadh

Japanese Ambassador Norihiro Okuda, right, Unicharm Gulf Hygienic Industries Limited, Mahdy Katbe, left, and Takahisa Takahara, president and CEO of Unicharm Corporation, second left, seen during the launch of the program held at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh on Wednesday. (AN photo by Iqbal Hossain)
RIYADH: About 250 Saudi women will work in new manufacturing jobs as part of a major SR500 million-expansion program under a Saudi-Japanese joint venture.
Japanese Ambassador Norihiro Okuda, Mahdy Katbe, of Unicharm Gulf Hygienic Industries Limited, and Takahisa Takahara, president and CEO of Unicharm launched the project.
Katbe told Arab News that his company currently employs 73 local women, 30 percent of whom have special needs. In a bid to empower women, he said, women workers have been given all needed facilities and services and they are allowed to bring their infants and keep them at the site while they work.
Unicharm Gulf Hygienic Industries is a joint venture company between Al-Murjan Group and The Japanese Unicharm Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of health products. Unicharm’s annual sales exceeds $2.5 billion.
Katbe said that his company maintains more than the 30 percent Saudi workers on its workforce, as required by the government.
The new factory will bring in the latest technology to produce diapers for babies and adults.
Okuda said that the bilateral relations between Japan and the Kingdom have been further stepped up following the recent visit of King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Tokyo. He pointed out that the private sectors of the two countries are working together to help the Kingdom achieve its 2030 Vision.
The envoy estimated the bilateral trade to be in the range of $50 billion and the balance of trade in favor of Saudi Arabia since it exports oil and petro-chemical products to the value of $40 billion.
Saudi Arabia and Japan have become close strategic partners as well as strong allies with progressively growing commercial and cultural links, he said.
He said plans are underway to transfer Japanese technology on desalination projects to the Kingdom.

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