Driving licenses for women will boost economic growth in Saudi Arabia: Experts

A Saudi woman speaks with a taxi driver to get a ride in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this September 28, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 October 2017
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Driving licenses for women will boost economic growth in Saudi Arabia: Experts

RIYADH: Introduction of driving licenses for women will steer economic growth and reduce dependence on foreign labor in the Kingdom, according to a panel discussion held at the Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh on Tuesday to mark the opening of the new office of Fitch Ratings.
There are 1.3 million foreign house drivers earning salaries of SR33 billion ($8.8 billion) annually. Most women are dependent on these drivers for daily transport to their work places and for their shopping needs.
The discussions were moderated by Ian Linnell, president of Fitch Ratings, and supported by Tim Cooper, a global economist, and James McCormack, managing director and global head of the Sovereign and Suprarnatural Group at Fitch Ratings.
Empowerment of women is part of Vision 2030, which is a highly ambitious program designed to diversify the Kingdom’s revenue sectors and encourage developing non-oil products for necessary exports.
Linnell said the company’s Riyadh office is its second office in the Middle East after Dubai. “We got the license to operate in the Kingdom from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to conduct credit rating activities in the Kingdom.
“We are delighted to be increasing our commitment in the region with an on-the-ground presence in the Kingdom,” Linnell said, adding that the company has had a solid footprint in the Kingdom for the past two decades covering Islamic finance. He also said that the company intends to hire local analysts to carry out its functions in the Kingdom.
With a leading global financial institutions franchise, Fitch Ratings has a leading market share in financial institutions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
Earlier in the day, there was a panel discussion on the “Saudi Arabian economy and the evolving debt capital markets in the Kingdom.” Besides Linnell, McCormack and Cooper, participants at the panel discussions included Fahad Al-Deweesh CEO J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia; Khalid Al-Hussan, CEO Tadawul; Jadwa Chief Economist Fahd Al-Turki; and Ayman Al-Sayari, SAMA deputy governor for investment.


Saudi Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition. (SPA)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Moscow, organized by the General Culture Authority on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup, has concluded its activities and events.
The four-day exhibition attracted a large number of visitors, who were informed about Saudi culture, art and heritage through short films, traditional costumes, folkloric shows, and books translated into Russian.
There were also various pavilions, including for Arabic calligraphy, Saudi hospitality, Arabic coffee, henna and fine art, as well as one aimed at children. Seven films by young Saudi directors were screened, and were well received by audiences.
Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition.
The exhibition was part of the General Culture Authority’s efforts to inform people about Saudi culture, art and identity.