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.”


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.