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.


Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

Updated 4 min 56 sec ago
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Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

JEDDAH: To celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day, a new Guinness World Records title was set today by Betty Crocker for baking the Largest mug cake mosaic in collaboration with Panda Retail Company, the leading grocery retailer in the region.
The cake was unveiled today at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah, measuring 112 square-meters with approximately 19,600 Betty Crocker mug cakes. It took 30 bakers almost 8 hours to create the marvelous cake and decorate it by 1900 Betty Crocker cake frosting tubs that represented the Saudi 88th National Day design on top of it before Guinness World Records adjudicator, Ahmed Jamal Jaber, officially confirmed it as the Largest mug cake mosaic ever.
“We are proud to be able to garner a world record for the 2nd year consecutively, and we would like to congratulate King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and all the people of Saudi on their 88th National Day. The idea of baking the Largest mug cake mosaic marks our appreciation and admiration to the remarkable achievements of the Saudi nation as we are strongly committed to support the dreams and ambitions of the Saudi Youth,” said Ali Shaikh, Commercial Director General Mills in the Middle East.
To conform with Guinness World Records guidelines, the Largest mug cake mosaic had to meet specific requirements set by the organization. The mosaic had to measure 112 square meters or above in order to break the Guinness World Records title. The event was attended by General Mills and Panda executives, as well as by Guinness World Records officials.
After the record was confirmed, the cake was distributed to visitors at Al-Andalus Mall and also was delivered to a non-profit organization “Saudi Food Bank.”