Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

The forum aims to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector, especially the private sector which is being encouraged in line with Vision 2030 to help diversify the economy. (AN photo by Badr Alhamd)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

  • The Pearl Initiative was formed in 2010 by prominent business leaders from across the Gulf region
  • Al-Falih said the forum was an appropriate event to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector

 RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih highlighted “good governance” as a competitive necessity and a benchmark of progress for big or small companies on Wednesday.

Al-Falih was speaking at the Governance in Focus forum co-hosted by Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.

The Pearl Initiative was formed in 2010 by prominent business leaders from across the Gulf region to create a non-profit vehicle for the private sector to take a lead in adopting higher standards in corporate governance, accountability and transparency.

Addressing a packed audience of business leaders, executives, officials and experts, Al-Falih said the forum was an appropriate event to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector, especially the private sector which is being encouraged in line with Vision 2030 to help diversify the economy.

He added that Vision 2030 put great emphasis on encouraging small and medium enterprises as they play a major role in emerging economies and will help contribute to the national transformation program.

The minister pointed out that integrating corporate governance into the strategy has become a competitive necessity as it presents opportunities to manage risks and add value, and that greater transparency with scrutiny and disclosure were key attributes of good corporate governance.

Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said: “In our efforts to achieve Vision 2030 and align ourselves with its aspirations, the Kingdom’s corporations and entities, regardless of size, now have the opportunity to apply or redefine its set of governance at the highest standards, which is vital for the economic transformation currently under way in the Kingdom.”

Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative, said the forum was an initiative with Aramco to shine a light on the various important roles that the government, business and philanthropic sectors need to play in creating corporate governance frameworks that support competitiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability in the region.


Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 21 May 2018
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.