German business leaders eager to share know-how with Saudi entrepreneurs, says expert

Dr. Dalia Samra-Rohte
Updated 03 October 2019

German business leaders eager to share know-how with Saudi entrepreneurs, says expert

  • Growing women empowerment in KSA is a key aspect of business cooperation between the two countries — Dr. Dalia Samra-Rohte
  • She is an expert on digital startups, with a focus on female entrepreneurship

RIYADH: German business leaders are looking forward to sharing their experiences and knowledge of small- and medium-enterprises with Saudi entrepreneurs, women in particular, to help the Kingdom achieve the aims of Vision 2030.

SMEs and innovative business are the key drivers of the German economy and a growing sector in Saudi Arabia as part of the national reforms, said Dr. Dalia Samra-Rohte of the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs in Riyadh.

“In Germany we have a very strong SMEs culture,” she said. “We have a lot of them as market leaders. They are well-positioned in the niche market and also leading internationally, so we are looking into it from the investment point of view.

“We are talking here (in Saudi Arabia) to different institutions and chambers to see how we can have more groups working together and make the market more accessible in the forms of data and information, in order to increase awareness for better cooperation.”

Samra-Rohte became the delegate for German Industry and Commerce in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen in August. She is an expert on digital startups, with a focus on female entrepreneurship, and was previously the deputy CEO of the German-Emirati Joint Council (AHK) and managing director of the AHK Office in Abu Dhabi.

She said there are women in leadership positions in many German companies, and that the growing empowerment of women in the Kingdom offers great potential and is a key aspect of business cooperation between the two countries.

“Female entrepreneurship is part of Vision 2030, so we are sending the message that we want to support it,” she said. “We are looking into different types of cooperation, and have already started talking to the chambers here, as well as related institutions, about setting up female entrepreneurship networks that will be able to learn from each other.”

The Kingdom is undergoing an exciting process of diversification and localization, she noted.

“We had an event in mid-September hosted for us at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during which they gave an insight into their projects, including energy parks, and we are trying to complement the plans as German companies are working in the energy field,” she said.

“We are also working on renewable-energy programs. In November, a delegation will come to the Kingdom and we have a big event planned for Nov. 25 at which we will showcase German technology to our local partners to highlight the potential as there is a huge market here.”

A memorandum of understanding has already been signed to enhance cooperation in this field. The food sector is another very important area in which Germany would like to enhance cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Samra-Rohte added.

The Kingdom ranks 35th on the list of German trading partners in terms of exports, Samra-Rohte said. 

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority issued 16 new licenses for German companies in 2017, 19 in 2018 and four so far this year. In all, 189 German companies are registered with SAGIA, she added.

Interpack, a leading international trade event for the packaging industry will be held in the German city of Düsseldorf in May next year, is already totally booked out, Samra-Rohte said. 

For the first time, the issue of saving food will be an important part of the event, including a number of campaigns focusing on ways to reduce food losses and waste, and getting the public directly involved in the issue.


Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Updated 21 sec ago

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.
“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah said. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”
There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.
The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.
There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.
The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.

FASTFACTS

• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.
Adjustments to previously announced social distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.
Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.
Private sector establishments that are found to be noncompliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000. Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.