Sri Lankan envoy finds Madinah ‘fascinating’

Updated 09 December 2014
0

Sri Lankan envoy finds Madinah ‘fascinating’

* Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most?
Saying mashaallah.
* Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word?
Tayyib.
* Which book is now on your bedside?
A copy of the Holy Qur’an.
* What is your favorite holiday destination?
Sri Lanka.
* What is your dream country where you would like to be posted after leaving Saudi Arabia?
Any Gulf country.
* Which country’s people have you found most friendly?
Arabs.
* How do you react to or deal with anger?
I sit and ponder.
* What is your source of strength during tough times?
Prayers.
* What was your first impression about the Kingdom?
It is a holy country.
* Which Saudi city fascinated you most?
Madinah.
* Your favorite Saudi dish.
Mandi.
* The thing about Kingdom that you will always remember.
My countrymen.
* If you were given only one option between Facebook and Twitter, what would you prefer?
Facebook.
* If you had not become a diplomat, what would have been your profession?
Social worker.
* Is hiding the truth acceptable in diplomacy?
No.
* How do you keep yourself fit?
Daily physical exercise.
* Your favorite restaurant?
Al-Haneez-Salamah in Jeddah.
* What is your favorite weekend activity?
Communicating with the family members.


Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh landscape at night. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 August 2018
0

Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

  • Many young Arabs who dream of living and working in Europe are not only interested in earning better incomes
  • To maintain our identity, we need to modernize our work environment

LONDON: Countries across the Middle East are struggling to create diverse opportunities for their youth, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Arab World Competitiveness Report.
However, a number of countries are innovating and creating new solutions to previously existing barriers to competitiveness, the report noted.
Saudi Arabia has committed to significant changes to its economy and society as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, while the UAE has increased equity investment in technology firms from $100 million to $1.7 billion in just two years.
Bahrain is piloting a new flexi-permit for foreign workers to go beyond the usual sponsorship system that has segmented and created inefficiencies in the labor market of most GCC countries.
The report found that, despite huge improvements in infrastructure and technology adoption, government-led investment in the Arab world has not been sufficient to encourage private sector participation on a wide scale.
The WEF report, written in conjunction with the World Bank Group, outlines recommendations for Arab countries to prepare for a new economic context, better education opportunities and increased social mobility.
“We hope that the 2018 Arab World Competitiveness Report will stimulate discussions resulting in government reforms that could unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the region and its youth,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO.
“We must accelerate progress toward an innovation-driven economic model that creates productive jobs and widespread opportunities.”
The report states that the way toward less oil-dependent economies for the Arab region is through robust macroeconomic policies that facilitate investment and trade, promotion of exports, improvements in education and initiatives to increase innovation among firms.