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.”


Riyadh book fair hears lecture on Bahrain culture industry

Updated 23 min 19 sec ago
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Riyadh book fair hears lecture on Bahrain culture industry

  • Professor Diaa Al-Kaabi presented a survey of all aspects of Bahraini culture, from the early 19th century until the present day
  • She also highlighted the role of prominent Saudis in the founding of major cultural institutions in Bahrain

RIYADH: Riyadh International Book Fair on Wednesday hosted Dr. Diaa Al-Kaabi, who gave a lecture on the role of culture in Bahrain, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The academic, who is a professor at the University of Bahrain, highlighted the role of prominent Saudis in the founding of major cultural institutions in Bahrain. She named Muqbel Al-Zukair, and the families of Al-Gosaibi, Al-Bassam, Al-Ajaji, Al-Mashari and others, as pioneers.
She also mentioned the cultural agreement that was signed in 1974 between the Kingdom and Bahrain as the first such agreement signed between the two Gulf states.
Al-Kaabi presented a survey of all aspects of Bahraini culture, from the early 19th century until the present day. She highlighted major trends in Bahrain’s cultural industry, and the role of societies, theaters and universities, as well as state institutions, in promoting the nation’s culture to an international audience.
She addressed the beginnings of the cultural movement under Sheikh Issa bin Ali, which she considered as the founding of the country’s cultural consciousness. 
It heralded the age of enlightenment in Bahrain, which was part of the modern Arab Renaissance starting from the early nineteenth century, she said.
Al-Kaabi concluded her lecture by stressing that culture, if nurtured, could be a pillar of economic development as it provided many job opportunities and its revenues were high. 
Bahrain is the guest of honor at the fair, which runs until March 23.
A Bahraini pavilion will host 13 cultural events including poetry nights, seminars and children’s programs over the course of the fair. In total, more than 900 global publishing houses are set to participate, with 500,000 books and publications on display, and up to a million visitors expected to attend.