Diverse economy urged to create jobs for Saudis



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Tuesday 25 December 2012

Last update 25 December 2012 2:25 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The Kingdom must build a diversified economy if it is to solve the unemployment problem currently plaguing the Saudi population, said economic expert Salah Kashoggi. Even though Saudi Arabia leads the world in the production of petrochemicals, more is needed as that sector does not come close to rivaling oil’s contribution to the GNP nor does it generate significant employment opportunities.
Kashoggi stressed the importance of strengthening efforts to increase industrial activities, especially manufacturing and cognitive so that labor market satisfies the needs of society.
“The whole process will result in the narrowing of the gap between real incomes and salaries of Saudi families”, he said.
He noted that the Ministry of Economy and Planning’s five-year plan focuses on the importance of diversifying economic resources by expanding the industrial base of the Kingdom. “To achieve this, the Kingdom needs to diversify its raw materials”, he said, adding that oil created a base for the establishment of leading petrochemical industries, but that diversification was still needed.
“At the same time, local industries should be supported. Importers should be transformed into manufacturers, starting with consumer products for the daily needs of citizens,”, he added, demanding that a quota should be imposed for some imports that can be manufactured domestically. Kashoggi also said that he believed that the Kingdom should take advantage of its geographical location to set up free zones that can benefit neighboring countries, as well. This would increase the availability of raw materials which in turn would generate more industrial opportunities for the Kingdom in the fields of cognitive activities, re-exportation, marketing and logistical services. He pointed out that an industrial base is the economic foundation in hard times, a fact that can be seen in China’s weathering the global economic downturn better than the US has. “The banking industry created the crisis we are experiencing now. Its profitability is high, but it doesn’t create jobs”, he said.
There is an urgent need to enact laws that support the establishment of venture funds so as to enable the private sector to fund manufacturing with government support. Building such an industrial base should not be an overly difficult task, he said, as the Kingdom already has all elements necessary to build an industrial base, such as cheap labor, capital, land and cheap energy.
“Manufacturing plants will create a higher level of jobs for Saudis”, he said, pointing out the absolute necessity of investing in research and development in order to boost efficiency, and provide quality free-zone products, which will help to reduce non-oil imports.
Kashoggi also suggested that Saudis must be little quicker on the draw and seize opportunities that present themselves even in the midst of crisis.
He said that it should not be out of question to purchase troubled industrial companies in order to transfer technology. He gave as an example the opportunity to buy a share of GM when it was asking for protection from bankruptcy in 2008. “We had at that time the chance to buy a share in the group.
“Such moves would add a great deal to the Saudi economy. This would surely diversify our income sources, create more jobs and activate our industrial cities,” he concluded.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...
RIYADH: Four citizens have been arrested in two murder cases, one of which was a road rage. One of the suspects resisted arrest and even opened fire on the police, but no one was injured.According to the Riyadh police, a clinic informed them that it...
MAKKAH: Thirty percent of male middle school students and 23 percent of female students take some form of drugs, a recent scientific study from the National Center for Youth Research confirmed. The study shows drug consumption rates among students in...
RIYADH: Several government departments participating in a campaign to fight breast cancer in the Eastern Province will offer their recommendations to the Ministry of the Interior to include breast cancer checks for women aged 40 and above as part of...

Stay Connected

Facebook