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

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.”


Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

Updated 13 min 50 sec ago

Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

  • The Arab coalition denounced Saturday's attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant
  • The Yemeni militant attack sparked a fire but caused no casualties or disruption to production

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting to restore the internationally recognized government in Yemen on Monday denounced a Houthi attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant in Saudi Arabia.
The militants claimed 10 drones struck the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant near the border with the UAE on Saturday.
“The Houthi militia have endangered global energy security by targeting Shaybah oil field in Saudi Arabia,” spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.
The militants, who are based in Yemen and backed by Iran, have used drones laden with explosives to target infrastructure in the Kingdom.
Speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, Col. Al-Maliki said the that Houthi and Daesh militias are conducting simultaneous operations in Yemen, stressing that the Houthis, who sparked the Yemen war in 2014, continue to pose a clear threat in the southern Red Sea.
The coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 to support forces loyal to the internationally recognized government after it was driven from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis.