Saudi minister seeks best investment environment for health sector

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The Ministry of Health and Pfizer Saudi Arabia signing a strategic partnership agreement. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 12 September 2019

Saudi minister seeks best investment environment for health sector

  • “2030’s Vision in the health sector focuses on the importance of health care, the health care model, and health in all policies, which rely heavily on innovations”

RIYADH: Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah has highlighted the importance of health care in the private sector.
Dr. Al-Rabiah said that the government was committed to creating the optimal investment environment for the health sector to make it more attractive.  
“The plan is to raise the Kingdom’s position and compete with most developed countries, through internal restructuring, including the establishment of tasks to develop health investment and the launch of electronic licensing programs, which is reducing the process of issuing licenses to minutes,” he said.  
One of the objectives of the Ministry of Health (MOH) is to increase the contribution of the private health sector, considering the support of entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises, and giving it more attention as being the main driver of the national economy.  
Dr. Al-Rabiah said that the most important aim of the conference was to raise awareness about entrepreneurship in the private sector with the participation of the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority, where health has developed a department dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship.
During Dr. Al-Rabiah’s inauguration on Wednesday in Riyadh at the Global Health Exhibition, he said that the Ministry of Health was giving its full attention to making the most of health potential and innovations. “2030’s Vision in the health sector focuses on the importance of health care, the health care model, and health in all policies, which rely heavily on innovations.”
Dr. Al-Rabiah said in his speech at the “Leaders in Health Care” conference, held within the forum, that the Ministry of Health had four robots in Riyadh, Asir, Najran and Dammam that had preformed more than 700 operations.  
Dr. Al-Rabiah said that the Global Health Exhibition assimilated international experiences and aspired to contribute to the global dialogue on the challenges of the health system and the solutions available to serve the goal of universal health coverage and other sustainable development goals endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN.
As part of this event, the MOH and Pfizer Saudi Arabia have signed a strategic partnership agreement to support the ministry’s efforts to improve the health of citizens.
This partnership will help to contribute to better medical care and health outcomes by helping smokers to quit the habit through a range of initiatives. Pfizer and the MOH are working toward the goal of a “smoke-free Kingdom” by 2030.

FASTFACT

The MoH and Pfizer Saudi Arabia have signed a strategic partnership agreement to support the ministry’s efforts to improve the health of citizens.

Dr. Ali Al-Wadei, director of the Tobacco Control Program at the Ministry of Health, said that the partnership was important in motivating smokers to attend anti-smoking clinics to help them quit with the help of specialists and according to scientific methods. The target is to assist more than 200,000 smokers to quit in 2019.  
The country manager of Saudi Pfizer, Dr. Alaa Gamal, said that the new partnership comes from the common desire of both parties to contribute to the success of the National Transformation Plan and the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Dr. Gamal told Arab news that this cooperation would help to spread awareness in the Saudi community about the dangers of smoking. “We are targeting a large number of smokers in our awareness campaigns to go to specialized clinics that help them to quit smoking under the supervision of a group of specialists.  
“The implementation of the new anti-smoking system is an essential part of the Kingdom’s ambitious vision to contribute to the achievement of its goals of a vibrant society and a healthy environment,” he said.  


Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Updated 22 February 2020

Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

  • Accusations fly as pilgrims targeted by sellers of counterfeit precious metal

JEDDAH: A video posted on Twitter by a member of the Precious Metals Committee explaining the ways some gold manufacturers manipulate weight of gold and diamonds has attracted significant attention in Saudi Arabia, raising the question of the authenticity of gold in the Kingdom.

In the video, Mohammed Azooz said cover-ups have made many Saudi gold sellers lose power over the market, and that industry was being controlled by non-Saudis.
In the video, he explained how some people circumvented customs and sneak gold into the country, especially during the Hajj season to target pilgrims.
The Arabic translation of #cheating_in_jewelry has been trending in Twitter for a few days, and several people posted about the issue, blaming those who were selling fake gold to pilgrims as pure gold.
This is not the first time the fake gold issue has been raised. The World Gold Council previously suspended its activities in the Kingdom following claims that some jewelry manufacturers mixed glass with gold. Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal rejected the accusations at the time, described them as “grave and dangerous.”
Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets.

FASTFACTS

• Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.

• For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

The price of one kilogram of 24 karat (k) gold in the Kingdom can reach SR185,000 ($46,700).
Gold and economic experts say that the movement in gold prices depends on numerous factors such as political and economic events around the world, the price of the US dollar in banks, black markets, as well as the supply and demand trends in global stock markets.

Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.
For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

The Kingdom has launched an initiative, the first of its kind, authorizing authorities to launch a Shariah-based gold investment fund to enrich investment products through the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
Moath Alkhasawneh, CEO and board member of FALCOM Financial Services, said the FALCOM Gold Fund was officially licensed by the Capital Market Authority. The fund aims to add value to Tadawul through a Shariah-based investment fund, as gold trading transactions are considered a good investment and a high-quality commodity with low risks in investment portfolios.
“Gold retains its value compared to banknotes — their value decreases because of inflation. The high demand on gold in light of the shortage of supply can drive the prices of gold higher in the long run,” said Alkhasawneh.
“The gold investment fund focuses on investment in pure and precious gold, and the investment transactions will take place at the Switzerland Gold Market under the supervision of the higher authorities in Switzerland. This will make it safer and more flexible.”