‘Saudi Arabia moving fast toward achieving its Vision 2030 goals’

Dr. Ayedh bin Hadi Al-Otaibi, deputy governor of investment climate.
Updated 13 December 2018
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‘Saudi Arabia moving fast toward achieving its Vision 2030 goals’

  • The SAGIA adopts strategies that are in accordance with Vision 2030 to support an investor’s journey within the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi economy is standing strong and it is supported by a competitive environment, said a senior official of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Dr. Ayedh bin Hadi Al-Otaibi, deputy governor of investment climate, was speaking at the Sixth Saudi Trade Finance Summit, which began on Wednesday in Riyadh.
Al-Otaibi delivered a speech on “Unlocking the potential of the Arab world’s largest economy” in which he reviewed the objectives and role of SAGIA with a particular reference to Vision 2030.
The SAGIA official also highlighted the recently introduced reforms in the investment environment to support the business sector in the Kingdom.
Al-Otaibi said Saudi Arabia is moving rapidly toward achieving its goals as envisaged in Vision 2030. The goals, he added, include an increase in foreign direct investment in the Kingdom, diversification of sources of income and leveraging its unique attributes as the heart of the Islamic world and the link between three continents.
The official said the Kingdom is taking all steps to make small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the main engine for economic development in the Kingdom.
Due to the recent measures and reforms the SMEs in the Kingdom are witnessing a spurt in growth and job creation, he added.
SMEs are considered a key partner in the development of Saudi Arabia.
One of the important actions in supporting these companies is the establishment of the General Authority for SMEs (Monshaat), which aims to increase the contribution of such businesses in the economy. Monshaat aspires to contribute to innovation, facilitate funding and create jobs for Saudi males and females.
The government has put in place stimulus packages of up to SR200 billion ($53 billion) until 2020 under the Fiscal Balance Program, one of the central initiatives for realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reforms.
The PIF, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has also supported the sector by setting up a SR4 billion fund ($1 billion) that will give SMEs access to capital. The “fund of funds,” as it is known, will invest in venture capital and private equity funds targeting the SME sector.
A privatization program also encourages the private sector to own or manage state-owned assets and to take over public services currently provided directly by the government.
SMEs are important to all economies around the world and will specifically play a major role in the non-oil-reliant Saudi economy. SMEs contribute to the economy by generating employment opportunities for the Saudi people and fostering economic empowerment for the youth and women. This will help in achieving the Vision 2030 goals of decreasing unemployment from 11.6 percent to 7 percent and increasing female participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent.
The SAGIA adopts strategies that are in accordance with Vision 2030 to support an investor’s journey within the Kingdom.
It also promotes a business environment based on customer service by measuring the satisfaction of investors with the services offered to them.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 44 min 52 sec ago
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Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

RIYADH: The Halat Ammar Customs on the Kingdom’s northwestern border prevented two attempts to smuggle a quantity of 184,737 Fenethylline tablets, also known by the brand name of Captagon.
The pills were discovered hidden on two buses that were transporting passengers to the Kingdom’s holy sites.
Mohammed Qaisi, the customs general manager, said the first bus was carrying 47 passengers and after the customs procedures were finalized and the passengers were processed, a bag containing 100,000 tablets was found.
“The narcotics were hidden in an artistic way and were placed inside the bag’s lining,” he said.
Qaisi also said the second attempt was thwarted in a similar way. The other bus was transporting 31 passengers, on which a total of 84,737 Captagon pills were seized.
Saudi Arabia usually witnesses a rise of smuggling attempts during the Umrah and Hajj seasons, as they are exploited by smugglers trying to transport narcotics and other contraband. 
Saudi Customs said it is exerting great efforts and working with all its human and technical capabilities to prevent the entry of illegal substances.