Saudi firm guiding private sector achieve Vision 2030 goal

Saudi firm guiding private sector achieve Vision 2030 goal
Mukatafa aims to create a community in which all the companies can exchange best practices, and allow large companies to help smaller ones. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 29 March 2021

Saudi firm guiding private sector achieve Vision 2030 goal

Saudi firm guiding private sector achieve Vision 2030 goal
  • Prince Waleed bin Nasser’s Mukatafa has helped set up industry bodies, job fairs and academies

RIYADH: A Saudi-based firm advocating for the unification of the public and private sectors aims to create an environment where all companies in the Kingdom can band together to achieve the goals and ambitions of Vision 2030.

Riyadh-based Mukatafa, founded by Prince Waleed bin Nasser, works within the private sector to mobilize leaders and raise industry standards by reviewing and developing policies. Through their work on advocacy, Mukatafa facilitates and directs policymakers while implementing practical solutions, such as setting up association bodies, organizing events and identifying educational and skillset requirements.

In an interview with Arab News, Prince Waleed, who is a main speaker at this week’s three-day Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit, said that the company was created to “fill a need” that had emerged following the announcement of Vision 2030.

“When Vision 2030 was launched, it was clear that the public sector was on a very fast-paced track to direct the culture of the Saudi economy. Society was part of that change. The other part was supposed to be the private sector, but they were not quite ready to take on that role,” he said.

According to Prince Waleed, the private sector was not entirely clear on its role in the new economic environment and was not capable of coping with the transformation.

“Vision 2030 required the private sector to transform in the same way as the public sector — to change how they used to do business, what they needed to focus on, and how they partnered with the government. What happened instead was that the private sector started to struggle during the initial launch of Vision 2030,” he said.

Prince Waleed saw an opportunity to be a catalyst for change, and he felt there was a role he could play in bringing the sectors together. 

Vision 2030 required the private sector to transform in the same way as the public sector — to change how they used to do business, what they needed to focus on, and how they partnered with the government.

Prince Waleed bin Nasser

“It was clear that we needed to bring private-sector entities together in a way they could understand their role in enabling the vision program. It cannot be done on an individual level, in terms of individual companies. They have to do it collectively. When you have industries working together, the magnitude of change is greater,” he said.

When Mukatafa was founded in 2018, Prince Waleed said that the team began talking to industry leaders, urging them to come together. “These companies can still compete and be rivals, but common goals can help them band together,” he said.

Among the main goals of Vision 2030 are simplifying how business is done in Saudi Arabia — in terms of processes and licensing — and attracting international investment.

“Government processes needed to be simplified,” Prince Waleed said. “And to help with that, we’ve researched all the parties in the subsectors of the government and ended up identifying the common challenges the industries were facing that were preventing them from growing and improving their standards. We were linking where the private sector is today with the objectives of the Vision and helping both private and public sectors work together to meet the Vision’s goals.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Riyadh-based Mukatafa, founded by Prince Waleed bin Nasser, works within the private sector to mobilize leaders and raise industry standards by reviewing and developing policies.

• Its future plans include associations in the industries of fashion and grocery retail.

Since then, Mukatafa has made strides in tackling the food and beverage industry, bringing industry leaders together under one umbrella, and creating the Saudi Restaurant and Café Association.

“It has a general assembly and a board, clear governance on how to manage the association, financial transparency, and so on. When the companies came together, we were able to align their activities, which caused them to become enablers in the industry,” Prince Waleed said.

Future plans include similar associations in the industries of fashion and grocery retail.

Mukatafa has also held a series of job fairs, helping to bring down the Kingdom’s unemployment rate.

“The number of offers we saw that became full-time jobs represented the highest rate in the Kingdom, higher even than those the Ministry of Human Resources or the Human Resources Development fund have achieved,” Prince Waleed said.

“Recently we held a virtual job fair that attracted more than 300,000 job seekers, which led to 30,000 CVs being passed on to companies that were looking for applicants,” he added.

Mukatafa is also launching an academy to train Saudis to enter the hospitality industry. Opening its doors in June, the Al-Qoot Academy was created in partnership with Lausanne University, the highest-ranked hospitality university in the world.

“It’s a six-floor building with a 600-student capacity, furnished with kitchens, dining rooms, and all the assets an individual needs to practice the skills involved in hospitality,” Prince Waleed said.


What We Are Wearing Today: Zey and Zain

Photo/SPA
Photo/SPA
Updated 18 September 2021

What We Are Wearing Today: Zey and Zain

Photo/SPA
  • The brand has three collections so far, designed by Zahra, a Saudi fashion designer with a skill for fashion illustrations

Nothing complements your style better than a beautiful silk scarf, whether around the neck or as an accessory for your purse.
Zey and Zain is a Saudi brand creating fashion accessories that express different topics such as beauty, happiness, peace, love and dreams.
Most of its products are inspired by the romance of the Arabic language and of Arabic poems by famous poets such as Ahmad Shawqi and Sawsan Al-Dais, and by a poem by Fadwa Tuqan that expresses the feeling of patriotism beautifully.
The scarves are made of silk, cotton, and polyester and — if you want to give your gift that special touch — you can use them to wrap gifts by applying the Japanese “Furoshiki” technique.
The brand has three collections so far, designed by Zahra, a Saudi fashion designer with a skill for fashion illustrations. Celebrating Saudi National Day, it has launched special edition designs reflecting the beauty of the Kingdom’s urban and architectural heritage.
Zey and Zain offers pins and scarves in different sizes. For more information visit its Instagram account @zeyandzain.

 


Saudi military industry delegation meets investors in London defense show

Saudi military industry delegation meets investors in London defense show
Updated 17 September 2021

Saudi military industry delegation meets investors in London defense show

Saudi military industry delegation meets investors in London defense show
  • Officials from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) met with a number of major international investors in the fields of defense and military security

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s military industry delegation concluded on Friday its participation in the four-day Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade fair held at the ExCel Center in London with meetings with investors.

Officials from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) met with a number of major international investors in the fields of defense and military security from the United Kingdom and European countries, as well as a number of people from other countries interested in the defense and security military industries sector, GAMI said in a statement.

These meetings were attended GAMI Governor Eng. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, GAMI’s partners in the sector, as well as Saudi and British officials and stakeholders from the industry and investment sectors.

The UK Minister of defense Ben Wallace and a number of official delegations at the regional and international levels also inspected the Saudi pavilion, learning about the key targets of the military industry sector in the Kingdom, its promising investment opportunities and the pursuit of GAMI to reflect the ambitious vision of the wise leadership aiming at the Saudization of more than 50 percent of spending on military equipment and services by 2030.


Saudi Arabia in negotiations to localize vaccine industry: deputy minister

Saudi Arabia in negotiations to localize vaccine industry: deputy minister
Updated 17 September 2021

Saudi Arabia in negotiations to localize vaccine industry: deputy minister

Saudi Arabia in negotiations to localize vaccine industry: deputy minister
  • The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is working to transfer technology and localize vaccine industries and production platforms

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to follow up its agreements with Pfizer and AstraZeneca to produce vaccines in the Kingdom with further initiatives to localize the pharmaceutical industries and to become a regional center for these companies, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Osama Al-Zamil.

The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the King Abdullah International Center for Medical Research (KIMAR), and the Pfizer Scientific Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday, to build the foundations for the manufacture of viral and genetic vaccines in the Kingdom.

The MoU, signed during the activities of the Riyadh Summit for Medical Technology 2021, held in Riyadh, also includes providing technical support for the establishment of a human stem cell platform.

The ministry is working to transfer technology and localize vaccine industries and production platforms to manufacture, accelerate and provide vaccines in what is known as CDMO, as a basis for building suitable industrial clusters in this promising sector, and this is indeed the core of the agreement signed at the summit with Pfizer, Alzamil told Al Arabiya.


The agreements need a follow up as they aim in the long run to establish the infrastructure, not just direct manufacturing or commercial production, he said.

The first aim is to establish a research center through which different types of vaccines will be produced and clinical trials will be conducted, after which work will be done on manufacturing and commercial production.

There are 40 Saudi factories working in the drug manufacturing sector, and there are three or four factories that are ready to manufacture directly with these companies, he said.

The Ministry of Industry was entrusted with the task of achieving pharmaceutical security in the Kingdom, especially after it became a priority amid the effects of the pandemic on supply chains, Al-Zamil said.

Saudi Arabia wants to be the first choice for international companies working in the field of pharmaceuticals, and its platform for access to the countries of the Middle East.

“We are working to secure our needs in cooperation with government agencies and our international partners,” he said.


Lubna Olayan becomes first woman to head a Saudi foreign business council

Lubna Olayan becomes first woman to head a Saudi foreign business council
Updated 17 September 2021

Lubna Olayan becomes first woman to head a Saudi foreign business council

Lubna Olayan becomes first woman to head a Saudi foreign business council
  • Olayan appointed president of the the Saudi-Swedish Business Council

JEDDAH: Prominent Saudi businesswoman Lubna Olayan has become the first woman to head up a foreign business council in the Kingdom following her approval as president of the Saudi-Swedish Business Council by the General Authority for Foreign Trade.

Mohammed Batterjee and Saud Al-Suleiman were named as her deputies.

Olayan has been a major figure in Saudi business for decades and was named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2005 and has featured in the Forbes list of most powerful women many times over the years, most recently at no. 58 in 2018.

She became chairwoman of the Saudi British Bank in 2019 and was reappointed to a three-year term in January 2020 following its merger with Alawwal Bank to create the Kingdom’s third-largest lender.

Olayan was CEO of the Olayan Financing Company, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates, until she stepped down in April 2019, but remains on the board. The company, founded by her father in 1947, is a private multinational engaged in distribution, manufacturing, services and investments.

She thanked the members of the council for their trust in her and her two deputies as they assumed their responsibilities, stating that she will continue to work to improve the council’s work and activate its role in developing inter-economic relations between the two countries.

The 36 Saudi foreign business councils operate under the supervision of the General Authority for Foreign Trade, as well as the umbrella of the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, with the goal of strengthening economic ties between the Kingdom and friendly states, increasing access to foreign markets for Saudi products, and encouraging foreign investment.


Saudi regulator supports Fintech industry with new regulatory measures 

Saudi regulator supports Fintech industry with new regulatory measures 
Updated 17 September 2021

Saudi regulator supports Fintech industry with new regulatory measures 

Saudi regulator supports Fintech industry with new regulatory measures 
  • Amendments to Financial Technology Experimental Permit Instructions have been approved

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's financial markets regulator is adding new measures aiming at enhancing the fintech regulatory framework. 

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced on Thursday the approval of amendments to Financial Technology (Fintech) Experimental Permit Instructions.

The amendments include adding definitions to clarify the nature of the Fintech Lab and adding instructions for business practice in the Fintech Lab.

The amendments also include updating the application form for the Fintech ExPermit.

"The continuous progress in the technical infrastructure development in Saudi Arabia such as wider implementation of digital identity, data privacy laws, and data classification framework will accelerate the wider adoption of digital services extended by banks and Fintechs," Nejoud Al Mulaik, Head of Saudi Fintech, told Arab News.

Amendments will become effective from the date of their publication, the statement on Saudi Stock Market (Tadawul) said.