Expats welcome end of ban on running Saudi firms

Expats welcome end of ban on running Saudi firms
Minister of Justice Dr. Walid Al-Samaani
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Updated 09 January 2021

Expats welcome end of ban on running Saudi firms

Expats welcome end of ban on running Saudi firms
  • It’s a step forward in achieving the goals set under Saudi Vision 2030, and also delivers financial support to expatriates

RIYADH: Expat workers and business people have welcomed a Saudi government decision allowing foreign nationals to run Saudi-owned firms, saying the move will strengthen and broaden economic activity in the Kingdom.

The announcement of the policy change was made after the Ministry of Justice lifted a previous ban on expatriates managing Saudi companies.

Minister of Justice Dr. Walid Al-Samaani said in a circular that the ministry had received a telegram in this regard from the Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the National Competitiveness Center (Tayseer), Majed Al-Qasabi, which read: “A working team constituted by the Ministry of Commerce to study the issue came to the conclusion that there is no objection to appointing non-Saudis as managers of Saudi-owned companies, as well as in authorizing foreigners to act in place of Saudis in running companies.”

Zakir Azmi, an Indian expat who has worked in Saudi Arabia for more than two decades, told Arab News the decision to lift the ban is “judicious and timely.”

“At a time when the Kingdom plans to diversify its economy, this will definitely contribute to achieving sustainable development of the country’s economy,” he said.

Azmi said that the move will also encourage foreign investment in the Kingdom by boosting overall confidence in the Saudi market.

HIGHLIGHT

A working team constituted by the Ministry of Commerce to study the issue came to the conclusion that there is no objection to appointing non-Saudis as managers of Saudi-owned companies, as well as in authorizing foreigners to act in place of Saudis in running companies.

“This will enhance overall economic activity in the country. It’s a step forward in achieving the goals set under Saudi Vision 2030, and also delivers financial support to expatriates,” he said.

Raafat Oun, a Lebanese expat working in the construction industry in Jeddah, said that the move will strengthen the Saudi economy.

“I know some Lebanese who left the Kingdom because of the ban on running Saudi-owned superstores. I am sure that when they hear this news they will be delighted,” he told Arab News.

“Now that it’s no longer illegal, I am also thinking of leaving my present job and enter into one business.”

Faiz Al-Najdi, a Pakistani expat working in Yanbu, described the policy change as “a good omen for expats.”

“This decision will help energize small and medium business enterprises in the Kingdom,” he said.

Al-Najdi urged fellow expats who have left the Kingdom to reconsider and look for new opportunities in the local market now that the ban has been lifted.

 


Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 25 January 2021

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
  • Saudi Arabia continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked 14th internationally for its COVID-19 university research, rising from its previous 17th ranking, according to the database of the Web of Science.

The Kingdom continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states.

Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for education, for attaching great importance to research and innovation, and for supporting scientists and researchers in Saudi universities to become globally competitive.

He said that this achievement was a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the Kingdom’s capabilities when it came to managing crises.

Al-Sheikh said that Saudi universities had published 84 percent of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 research, and that the Kingdom had published 915 scientific papers by local scientists since the outbreak of the pandemic.

He thanked Saudi universities that contributed to publishing the research papers as well as the faculty members and researchers who were serving their community.

Al-Sheikh said that this achievement reflected the Ministry of Education’s keenness to organize events that enhanced the participation of Saudi universities, research centers, researchers and academics in supporting scientific research during the pandemic.

This was in addition to coordinating the efforts of universities through specialized workshops to improve the efficiency of research and its contribution to fighting COVID-19, discussing ways to prevent and treat the disease, and investing in the research capabilities of the staff of universities and research centers by finding scientific solutions that contributed to addressing the pandemic.