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

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.

KSRelief readies urgent response plan for Hodeidah

A displaced Yemeni child sits next to boxes of Saudi-provided humanitarian food aid at a camp in Yemen’s northeastern province of Marib. (Reuters/File)
Updated 17 June 2018

KSRelief readies urgent response plan for Hodeidah

  • The plan involves sending specialized medical teams to the port city
  • The army took control of Hodeidah’s airport on Saturday

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has readied an urgent response plan as the Yemeni Army, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, tightens its grip on Hodeidah.

The plan involves sending specialized medical teams to the port city, and intensifying humanitarian and relief aid, Dr. Abdullah Al-Moallem, director for health and environmental aid at KSRelief, said on Sunday.

The army took control of Hodeidah’s airport on Saturday, and is continuing an offensive to liberate the city from Iran-backed Houthi militants.

“We have our comprehensive plan ready, and with the liberation we’ll help with medical supplies and equipment, extending full support to government hospitals” and “providing much-needed assistance to distressed people in the area,” Al-Moallem told Arab News. “KSRelief will provide health services to all Yemenis without any discrimination.” 

In addition to a food security plan, medical supplies will be sent by sea, air and land, with shipped supplies being delivered from the Saudi port of Jazan to Hodeidah, he said. 

Moreover, a KSRelief specialized medical team comprising 25 doctors is revisiting Marib governorate to provide health services to all Yemenis without discrimination, he added.

Meanwhile, the center continued distributing food baskets in Al-Khokha and Hayes districts of Hodeidah, benefiting 690 displaced people. The distribution is part of the 262 Saudi humanitarian projects in Yemen.

Moreover, the coalition backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government launched a comprehensive plan for the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid through Hodeidah port.

The plan entails sending food and medicines by sea, air and land, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of KSRelief. “Medical teams are ready to reach and support families and children in need,” he added.

Engineering teams are clearing Hodeidah’s airport and its surroundings of mines and explosive devices, said the Yemeni Army’s media center.