Opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs are ‘extraordinary’ in Saudi Arabia

Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi hands the copy of a license to a foreign entrepreneur on the sidelines of the Second Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. (AN photo)
Updated 16 November 2017
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Opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs are ‘extraordinary’ in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: New licenses were issued on Wednesday to encourage the world’s entrepreneurs and inventors to start up in the Kingdom and boost growth of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector.
Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi issued 11 new licenses on the sidelines of the Second Misk Global Forum, which was inaugurated on Wednesday.
Senior officials from the Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s SME Authority, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Economic Cities Authority were present during the launch of the new program.
Before handing over the licenses to 11 entrepreneurs, Al-Qassabi said the effort was to promote the SME sector as well as to diversify the economy of the country in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
Knowledge industries represent a particularly high-growth sector: Saudi Arabia’s young and educated population has one of the world’s highest digital adoption rates, and the knowledge sector is characterized by small and medium, innovative companies.
“Saudi Arabia offers extraordinary opportunities for foreign innovators and investors. This is an incredibly dynamic market with a young, entrepreneurially inclined population and significant latent demand in high-growth industries. We know we have the talent — our job now is to match-make and help provide the opportunities,” said Dr. Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, governor of Monsha’at, stressing that foreign entrepreneurs would bring with them innovation and expertise and help local youths to get to know their operations.
“The new licensing initiative is designed to help build up the private sector and move away from an over-reliance on oil revenues,” said Al-Sulaiman. This initiative, he said, was inspired by the Vision 2030, which will help Saudi Arabia to attract the best minds in the world, transferring knowledge, expanding the economy, increasing the contribution of small and medium-sized companies to GDP and creating jobs for Saudis.”
Fahad Al-Rashid, CEO of KAEC, said the new regulations enabled entrepreneurs to establish a business in the city. The Kingdom has given several incentives such as free housing, transportation and education for children to attract foreign investors.


Prince Turki: Purveyors of terror not from one religion

Updated 26 March 2019
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Prince Turki: Purveyors of terror not from one religion

  • Saudi Arabia’s former diplomat commends Arab News for ‘Preachers of Hate’ project
  • The campaign, in print and online, analyzes the words and deeds of extremist preachers and clerics from all religions and nationalities, places them in context, and explains how they fuel terrorism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the US and UK, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, has praised the weekly “Preachers of Hate” project that Arab News launched online and in print on Sunday.

“I think this is something that Arab News has stood for since its establishment more than 40 years ago,” he told the newspaper with regard to the project, which highlights extremists from various religions who incite hatred and spread terror worldwide.

“So I congratulate us, as readers of this service that Arab News is providing us. 

“Exposing the purveyors of hate, whoever they may be, is an essential part of combatting terrorism and hate speech. So good luck.”

Prince Turki said the recent terrorist attacks against peaceful worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were a “horrific crime” perpetrated by a hateful purveyor of bias and prejudice.

He added that the murderer is a “perfect example of what we’re combatting in the Kingdom. 

“The efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and his Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, emphasize the need to stand up to these hateful criminals who distort the teachings of religion. 

“Unfortunately, these purveyors of mayhem, destruction and terrorism come from all religious and philosophical backgrounds.”

When asked by Arab News whether Daesh was truly defeated, Prince Turki said: “I don’t know.” 

He added that Saudi Arabia succeeded in combatting Al-Qaeda, yet from that group came Daesh, which he referred to as “fahish,” which means obscene in Arabic.

“Now we see claims of the eradication of fahish. What will follow we will have to wait and see,” he said.

“But if you look at some geographical areas — from the Philippines through to Afghanistan, Indonesia, all the way to North Africa and some of the Sahel countries in Africa — there are still those who are carrying the flag of fahish. 

“So maybe in Syria and Iraq there has been success in removing fahish from the scene, but it exists in other places.”