Boosting Saudi-US ties
Since the meeting of King Abdul Aziz and former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, oil has remained the focal point of the Saudi-US relations.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s successful visit to Washington has further strengthened ties between the two countries. As a matter of fact, this royal visit has helped reshape these relations. Truth be told, this visit has taken the bilateral ties to a new level.
The visit also comes following the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims at doing away with the Kingdom’s dependency on oil income.
The Saudi message (in Washington) comes after the world has listened to the American message on the Iranian nuclear deal and its repercussions in the region. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is deeply concerned with those repercussions and is making all-out efforts to ensure the security and stability of Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, the visit to the United States should not be seen as just a routine trip but it was an important mission to help achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 and to put the Kingdom on the path to true progress in every sphere of life.
The deputy crown prince’s visit to Silicon Valley, the home of the world’s largest high-tech companies, is a testimony to his keenness to change Saudi Arabia’s economic fabric and to help people overcome from their addiction to oil and to lay the foundations of a knowledge-based and technologically-driven society.
The visit has proved to the world and the Americans that Saudi Arabia is all set to enter a new era of sustainable progress.
— By Osama Al-Salim
The killer twins
People are shocked by the report about teenage twin brothers’ assault on their family members. The 18-year-old duo, residents of Riyadh, stabbed their mother to death and injured their father and brother.
This heinous incident is the main topic on social media platforms. People from all walks of life are expressing their shock over this sad incident. But, if we want to talk about the incident objectively and realistically, we have to ask ourselves a question: Was this type of incident not expected after crimes where the father, uncle and cousin were killed in cold blood?
It is true that a mother is, for the first time, put on the hit list. The two killer brothers were described as Daesh supporters on the social media despite the absence of official information in this regard.
All users of the social media are unanimously calling them Daesh members.
This incident should put all the state institutions on a high alert and all departments should look into the matter seriously so as to ascertain the causes behind this phenomenon. These two young men are the product of our education and community and did not come from another world.
We need a comprehensive campaign to fight radicalism in our society. We should not ignore this gruesome murder as an isolated incident.
— By Hamoud Abu Talib
Deterring Iranian threats
Iranian terrorist Gen. Qassem Soleimani has threatened to stoke unrest in Bahrain and other GCC countries after Bahrain revoked the citizenship of Isa Ahmed Qassim.
Isa Ahmed Qassim was granted the Bahrain citizenship but he violated the oath and worked to transform Bahrain into a center of conflict by spreading sectarian strife.
Accordingly, threats against Bahrain and other GCC states are considered a terrorist act, which necessitates concerted action from all countries, notably the GCC countries. The GCC foreign ministries, or at the highest levels, should take note of this reckless warning.
Gen. Soleimani and other Iranian terrorists in uniforms should understand that Bahrain is not alone and its brothers will never leave it to fight sectarianism alone.
All Arab countries are prepared to defend Bahrain except those who fell prey to the Safavid conspiracy.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Arab League, and the GCC countries have strongly rejected threats sent by Iranian mullahs, Qassem Soleimani or the terrorist generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
— By Jasir Abdulaziz Al-Jasir
The Saudi Vision 2030 seeks to increase contribution of the private sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 40 percent to 65 percent. To achieve that goal, the private sector has to contribute nearly $800 billion to the GDP by 2030 at the increase of $50 billion annually, or at an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent.
It is known that the Vision 2030 depends heavily on the private sector and that the national transformation program (NTP), emanated from the Vision 2030, contains objectives based mainly on the potentials of the private sector.
However, the private sector faces many challenges and legislations, which need to be addressed. Those issues include localization systems, conflicting systems between sectors and delayed government financial dues to the private sector firms.
Recently, a series of decisions were issued about certain areas of the private sector such as the raising of localization rate to 100 percent in mobile sector by the end of the year. Additionally, new other systems may have adverse effects on the private sector and may contradict with the Vision 2030 such as ban on granting license to private and foreign schools operating in rented buildings not designed for educational purposes.
It is to be noted that one of the objectives of the NTP is raising the contribution of the private education from 14 percent to 25 percent. However, the (ban) decision will lead to closure of many schools and laying off of thousands of teachers and automatically will lead to recession in this vital sector.
The private sector is also facing other obstacles such as increase of service fees, taxes, and meeting requirements of labor and work system. If these issues are not resolved quickly, they will constitute an obstacle to the private sector in achieving objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.
— By Ibrahim Mohammed Badawood
Telecom and IT sectors
A recently published report said the volume of investments in telecom and IT sector is estimated at more than SR200 billion ($53 billion) annually.
The sector is reportedly pumping 60,000 jobs into the labor market and yielding annual revenues of roughly SR50 billion ($13 billion). Meanwhile, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) spent $2.85 billion on information technology last year, the sector that finds a considerable turnout of young entrepreneurs. However, young entrepreneurs have to focus on added value to their businesses to have a sustainable position in the market.
Owners of the IT businesses have to have a vast experience in the technical area, if they seek longer stay in the market. There are certain criteria, which make any technical project a success: The idea and performance or application of that idea with the lowest costs and the highest income (proceeds) to the project.
Future of such projects is highly promising and attractive to the young entrepreneurs while mega investors normally do not accept such investments unless they have a background in such projects. On the other hand, women are more active in telecom and IT than men and have opportunities to prove efficiency in this vital area by virtue of the nature of work and absence of challenges compared to other sectors.
— By Saad Al-Subai
No room for terrorists
Security men in the Kingdom have, once again, proved their efficiency in tracking down fleeing terrorists who tried to terrorize citizens and destabilize security in Al-Awwamiya. It is really heartening to note that our security forces never fail us and always succeed in tackling the threat of terrorists.Meanwhile, the security authorities have warned against giving any help to the fleeing terrorists. Fleeing will not save the terrorists from our security men. To stand trial is better than running away.
Al-Awwamiya incident indicates the preparedness of the security men. The incident also proved that the Kingdom would remain an oasis of security, safety and stability. There is no room for terrorism in the Kingdom.
— By Mohammed Al-Suwaigh