Experts highlight ways to boost Saudi industrial growth

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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The risks, challenges and successes in industrial development were discussed during the first day of the Makkah Economic Forum in Jeddah City on May 6, 2018. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 07 May 2018
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Experts highlight ways to boost Saudi industrial growth

  • For local and foreign investors, there is a need for greater unity of purpose, and clarity of responsibilities in the current governmental structures, says Doug Peel, the head of an international law firm.
  • Andreea Zugravu, principal with A.T. Kearney Middle East, stressed that technology is crucially important for the Saudi human capital.

JEDDAH: The Makkah Economic Forum taking place in Jeddah City for two days, May 6 - 7 at The Ritz Carlton Hotel brings together all the people who should be involved in the dialogue of investment facilitations and possibilities in Makkah region to frankly address the possibilities, the challenges, risks, and goals. 
The forum started by putting the focus on national industrial development, discussing its risks, challenges and successes during the first panel of the forum.
Doug Peel, head of the Middle East, White & Case LLP, the international law firm that that supports governments, companies, and financial institutions in achieving their global ambitions, said during the panel, “we need a culture with a strong risk taking in order to see positive results.”
Peel explained the challenges facing local and foreign investors. “There is a need for greater unity of purpose, and clarity of responsibilities in the current governmental structures,” Peel told Arab News. 
“Everybody is trying very hard to do the right thing and most of the time the right thing is done but sometimes there is an overlapping of responsibilities between different ministries, or multiple bodies with more or less the same responsibilities. Simplifying that would be one ways to address that challenge,” he added.
Peel sees that the Saudi system of commercial and investment law is becoming more attractive. “Saudi laws have definitely become much more business and investors friendly in the almost six and a half years.”
However, Abdulaziz Al-Rashid, deputy for economic affairs, Ministry of Economy and Planning, said: “The communication between government entities today is stronger than ever.”
Yasuhiko Hashimoto, executive officer and joint head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mizuho Financial Group, said: “In order to see positive results in the work system, communication between government entities should be strong and clear.”
“Joint work themes between Saudi Arabia and Japan were discussed at the Saudi-Japan business forum. One of the main themes being discussed is the development of joint SMEs,” Hashimoto told Arab News. 
Moderator Andreea Zugravu, principal with A.T. Kearney Middle East, highlighted the new spirit in the Saudi investment environment.
“There are two main differences we see in Saudi Arabia, first the energy that the government has managed to put through, and the enthusiasm not only for foreign investors who are very attracted by the potential of Saudi Arabia, but also for local investors and local youth. That is fantastic because it builds on a platform that we can develop upon,” she told Arab News.
“The second thing is that the whole world is changing when it comes to industrial development and technology, in Saudi Arabia’s industrial development journey need to bring technology a lot more to the forefront, like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and so on.”
She said technology is crucially important for the Saudi human capital.
Regarding women integration at workplace, Zugravu said: “We need to do a lot more when it comes to inclusive environment in Saudi Arabia, and leveraging with the human capital of women.”
The Kingdom, she said, has achieved progress in this regard.
“In the industrial sector there is a lot of things need to be done, the kind of infrastructure that we need to allow women to join the labor market in a way that is safe.”


Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

Updated 21 March 2019
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Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

  • The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts
  • The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month

DHAHRAN: As part of Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province, the fifth Saudi Film Festival will feature Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Indian superstar Salman Khan.
The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).
Khan recently announced in a video message that he will visit Ithra on Sunday as a guest of the film festival.
“Hello Saudi Arabia, assalamu alaikum,” he said in the video. “See you at Ithra on the 24th of March, InshaAllah.”
The actor is best known for his performances in blockbuster Hindi flicks such as “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, “Ek Tha Tiger” and its sequel “Tiger Zinda Hai.”
In “An Evening with the Stars,” Khan will talk about his lengthy Bollywood career as both a film star and a producer.
He has starred in more than 80 Bollywood films, and has produced more than 30 via his production company Salman Khan Films.
On Monday, Gooding Jr. will take to the stage to discuss his 30 years of experience as an actor.
The American is best known for his performances in “Jerry Maguire”, “A Few Good Men” and “Men of Honor.”
Gooding Jr. has played more than 85 roles over the course of his career. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rod Tidwell in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire.”
Tickets to both events, as well as for the film festival as a whole, are available on Ithra’s website.
The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month, with more than 83 activities in nine cities.