SFDA launches strategic plan for healthy food in Saudi Arabia

A “signal light” system of green, yellow and red will be used on products to indicate the amount of sugar, salt and fat. (SPA)
Updated 02 October 2017
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SFDA launches strategic plan for healthy food in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) has launched a strategic plan for healthy food in the Kingdom, which involves determining allowable rates of sugar, salt and saturated fat in processed food.
SFDA CEO Hisham Al-Ghaie said a specialized scientific team has been assigned to review research, global experiences, and recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with the Health Ministry.
“We look forward to working with strategic partners from ministries and the private sector,” he added.
The plan focuses on key aspects that studies have shown to have a significant impact on public health.
It will include reducing sugar and salt in food; adding sugar to nutritional data on labels; reducing the use of hydrogenated fats in the food industry; fortifying food with vitamins and minerals; and requiring restaurants and cafes to show how many calories are in their meals and drinks.
A “signal light” system of green, yellow and red will be used on products to indicate the amount of sugar, salt and fat.
The plan will also involve awareness campaigns and nutrition counseling on safe and healthy food.


Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

Updated 15 August 2018
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Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

  • Many young Arabs who dream of living and working in Europe are not only interested in earning better incomes
  • To maintain our identity, we need to modernize our work environment

LONDON: Countries across the Middle East are struggling to create diverse opportunities for their youth, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Arab World Competitiveness Report.
However, a number of countries are innovating and creating new solutions to previously existing barriers to competitiveness, the report noted.
Saudi Arabia has committed to significant changes to its economy and society as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, while the UAE has increased equity investment in technology firms from $100 million to $1.7 billion in just two years.
Bahrain is piloting a new flexi-permit for foreign workers to go beyond the usual sponsorship system that has segmented and created inefficiencies in the labor market of most GCC countries.
The report found that, despite huge improvements in infrastructure and technology adoption, government-led investment in the Arab world has not been sufficient to encourage private sector participation on a wide scale.
The WEF report, written in conjunction with the World Bank Group, outlines recommendations for Arab countries to prepare for a new economic context, better education opportunities and increased social mobility.
“We hope that the 2018 Arab World Competitiveness Report will stimulate discussions resulting in government reforms that could unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the region and its youth,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO.
“We must accelerate progress toward an innovation-driven economic model that creates productive jobs and widespread opportunities.”
The report states that the way toward less oil-dependent economies for the Arab region is through robust macroeconomic policies that facilitate investment and trade, promotion of exports, improvements in education and initiatives to increase innovation among firms.