Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority reveals plans for Kingdom to host FDI summit

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Updated 14 February 2020

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority reveals plans for Kingdom to host FDI summit

  • Saudi Arabia was the most improved country in the world for doing business, the World Bank said in its report in October 2019.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working closely with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to host the first ever global FDI Summit in Riyadh in October 2020.

“The summit will discuss the challenges on global FDI and feature Saudi Arabia as a case study,” said Khaled A. Tash, deputy governor of marketing and communications at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), in an interview.

“A declining FDI trend globally is not in the interest of anyone, so we want to address these challenges, we want to discuss the solutions and want to come out with a set of recommendations that come out from Riyadh during the G20, this is our perspective on how we can help the global FDI trends to reflect from a negative to a positive one,” said Tash.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Retail Leaders Circle (RLC) MENA Summit 2020 in Riyadh earlier this week.

“One of the commitments in Saudi Vision 2030 is a flourishing retail sector, because retail is one of the biggest job creation engines, so that’s a very important priority for the Kingdom,” he said.

Saudi Arabia was the most improved country in the world for doing business, the World Bank said in its report in October 2019.

The Kingdom leapt 30 places in the annual survey of business efficiency in 190 countries, and was the top reforming country, the highest ranking since the bank launched its “Doing Business” survey 20 years ago.

The Kingdom now ranks 62nd in the world, ahead of many larger economies such as India.

“Last but not least, we are becoming much more effective and aggressive in our marketing and promotional efforts,” he said.

“So two years ago we launched ‘Invest Saudi’ as a brand not only by the SAGIA but all the government entities working as one team to promote Saudi Arabia internationally as a platform to reach out to investors.”


Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

Updated 30 min 58 sec ago

Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

  • The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament approved on Thursday a law to remove decades-old banking secrecy rules in order to better fight rampant corruption that has pushed the country to the edge of economic collapse.
The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers, legislators and civil servants, state-run National News Agency reported.
The restoration of stolen public money in the corruption-plagued nation has been a key demand of protesters who have been demonstrating since mid-October against Lebanon’s ruling elite, which they blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement.
The approval of the law came two months after the Cabinet approved a draft resolution to abolish the country’s banking secrecy laws, which have turned tiny Lebanon into the region’s Switzerland, attracting clients from around the Arab world who prized the anonymity its banks offered.
The new law gives powers to National Anti-corruption Commission and a Special Investigative Committee at the central bank to investigate bank account of officials, the report said.
For Thursday’s session, Lebanese lawmakers convened inside a Beirut theater so that they could observe social distancing measures imposed during the pandemic. Dozens of anti-government demonstrators briefly clashed with riot police outside as legislators met.
As lawmakers in face masks arrived at the theater, known as the UNESCO palace, paramedics sprayed them with disinfectant before they entered, one at a time.
Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment figures soaring and the local currency losing more than half of its value against the dollar.
After the banking secrecy measure was passed, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri suspended the session until later in the afternoon when the legislators were to discuss a draft general amnesty law.
The amnesty issue has deeply divided parliamentary blocs, with Christian groups calling for pardoning Lebanese who fled to Israel after it ended its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and others want the release of hundreds of Islamists held as terror suspects.
Lebanon and Israel are at a state of war and some Lebanese who fled to Israel now hold Israeli citizenship. Scores of protesters demonstrated in Beirut and southern Lebanon on Thursday against pardoning those living in Israel.