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.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.