New SME body ‘will generate jobs for Saudis’

Updated 29 October 2015
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New SME body ‘will generate jobs for Saudis’

RIYADH: The newly formed Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises approved by the Cabinet on Monday will help create jobs for young Saudis and boost the economy, according to experts.
One of the most important functions of the new body would be to facilitate funding for these small and medium enterprises (SME), they were quoted as saying by a local publication on Tuesday.
Saleh Al-Hassini, chairman of the Shoura Council’s economy and energy committee, said that the authority would remove several obstacles facing SMEs, which is crucial for the country’s economic growth.
Al-Hassini said that the authority would ensure that SMEs become more competitive and innovative, and attract investment. He praised the government for setting up this and other similar bodies and urged the Council of Saudi Chambers to support it.
Mansoor bin Abdullah Al-Shathri, a member of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and head of the board of trustees of the Riyadh Center for SME Development, said that the authority would create employment opportunities for Saudis.
Al-Shathri said that expatriates made up 86 percent of the SME sector in the country. This goes against trends in other countries, and is preventing citizens from investing in the sector, he said.
He said that the authority would help grow the sector, which makes up over 99 percent of commercial firms in the country. It would oversee the sector and fulfill the goals of the government’s economic plans, he said.
The Cabinet, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Monday, set up the body, which will have financial and administrative independence, and be overseen by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The authority would regulate and grow the small and medium enterprise sector in the Kingdom, so that it makes a substantial contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and create jobs, the Cabinet said in a statement.
The authority would also ensure financial support for the sector through the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the statement said.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.