Businesswomen prepare for municipal elections

Updated 11 March 2015
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Businesswomen prepare for municipal elections

A number of Saudi businesswomen and activists have participated in a training program regarding the activities and tasks of municipal councils held in coordination with the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Secretary of the regional council recently. The training program seeks to qualify the women so as to enable them to participate in the forthcoming municipal elections, which will take place in the coming months. In an historical move, these are the first elections in the history of the Kingdom that will involve the participation of women as both voters and candidates.
The Baladi (My country) initiative, which was launched 4 years ago, seeks to support women in familiarizing them on the stages and processes necessary to vote, as well as directions on how to nominate themselves to be elected, how to lead an election campaign, how to enhance the culture of voting and other related issues.
The preparations made by many participating Saudi women during this election cycle has already shown that they are ready to be involved in the national election process as voters, candidates, organizers of campaigns, directors, coordinators, and foremost , as winners.
“I participated in the program in order to learn more about the election process, and not to nominate myself,” said Nora Yassin, a businesswoman, adding “I really wanted to know how female candidates can properly participate in the whole process.”
She also noted that all Saudi women are looking forward to participating in the programs in order to know what they can achieve by being members of the municipal councils.
One female trainer with the program, Wijdan Al-Saeed, said that the training course seeks to prepare female participants for a more in-depth understanding of the election process from the moment of candidacy announcements, until the voting day itself.
“The main objective of the program is to increase the information available to women so that they can become full participants — and drivers — of the important election process,” added Al-Saeed.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 6 min 33 sec ago
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.