Commercial arbitration center to settle disputes

Updated 16 April 2014

Commercial arbitration center to settle disputes

The Cabinet has set up a high-level committee to establish a commercial arbitration center for local and international commercial and civil disputes, under the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC).
“Its jurisdiction will not cover disputes concerning administrative, personal and criminal cases and where reconciliation is not permissible,” Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said Monday after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The CSC would form a board of directors in agreement with the Ministers of Justice and Commerce and Industry, and in coordination with the governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.
The chairman of the board must have at least 10 years experience in the private sector, with members to have five years, and they should not have occupied any government post or job. The board will approve the center’s regulations and prepare a list of arbitrators. The center will have branches inside and outside the Kingdom.
The center would represent the Kingdom in the field of commercial arbitration domestically and internationally in coordination with the Ministry of Justice. It would have a fund to provide arbitration aid, he said.
Referring to the new law allowing transfer of information, Khoja said the Ministry of Interior would launch technical measures to ensure the privacy of private enterprises and the confidentiality of information.

The law will be applied to private enterprises engaged in tourist accommodation facilities, leasing lounges, car rentals, buying gold and jewelry from traders, transport of passengers in the Kingdom and abroad, property rentals, sports centers, and the sale of vehicles with canceled registrations.
Khoja said the Cabinet also urged the United States to restart the Middle East peace process. It praised the decisions taken by Arab League foreign ministers on the Palestinian issue, and urged the US to pressure Israeli to abide by its peace commitments.
The Cabinet expressed concern over the deterioration of human rights in Syria, Myanmar and the Central African Republic, and urged the international community to stop all crimes against humanity. It stressed the importance of concerted international efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to needy people.
The Cabinet authorized the foreign minister to hold discussions with the Arab Tourism Organization to set up its headquarters in the Kingdom. It endorsed an agreement with Hungary for cooperation in science and education, and another agreement with Egypt for electricity interconnection.
The Cabinet appointed Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Mashaali director general of administration for financial and budget affairs at the department of general staff; Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al-Thuwaini undersecretary for rights affairs at the Ministry of Interior; Abdul Kareem bin Abdul Aziz Al-Aidan administrative advisor at Riyadh mayoralty; Mohammed bin Falah Al-Darran as minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Safar bin Mushabab Abu Madini assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Transport.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.