LONDON, 1 December 2004 — The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) has announced the election of Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, president of Abdul Latif Jameel Company (ALJ) to join its international board of trustees. As a representative of the first Arab company on the IBLF board, Jameel was invited to become a trustee by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales founder and president of the London-based forum.
“The IBLF is delighted and honored that Jameel has joined our board of trustees and this appointment recognizes the group’s regional leadership in good corporate citizenship and employment development,” Robert Davies, CEO of the IBLF, said.
Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel is president of the Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd, leading Saudi company and world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota and Lexus cars. ALJ has developed a community program committed to furthering and promoting opportunities for thousands of young Saudis each year. The company aims to create 6,300 job opportunities by 2005, which is equivalent to the current entire ALJ staff. From 2006 onward, the company will try to create the same number of job opportunities annually in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East.
ALJ company programs encompass a number of initiatives in the Kingdom, which place a large emphasis on job creation through vocational training of young Saudis and support of small businesses through loans and micro business finance.
One example is the Toyota taxi owner-drivers scheme. This is part of the ALJ Programs’ Small Business Support Fund. The cars are leased to young Saudis with no credit history and “interest-free installments” are collected on a weekly basis, with the aim of final ownership being achieved within three years. This has potential to act as a good practice model for wider adoption by business leaders in the region. Davies considers Jameel’s work “a first class example of what responsible companies can do in the region to serve their countries and the community.”
Formed in 1990 and supported by many of the leading corporations from Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, the not-for-profit International Business Leader’s Forum takes a leading role in over 50 countries forming partnerships between business, public and community sectors for economic and social development.
The IBLF already has corporate supporters in the Middle East and the Kingdom. It is a long-standing partner of the World Bank, UN and leading international NGOs, and has been actively engaged in promoting good practices in enterprise and employment in the Middle East region for over eight years. Other companies represented on the IBLF board of trustees include Alcan, BP, Shell, Cisco Systems, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, KPMG and Accenture. “We hope that the full involvement of the Abdul Latif Jameel Company during our 15th anniversary year in 2005 will help spread good practices and ideas for corporate social responsibility in the Middle East region,” Davies added.
The Prince of Wales plays an active part in the activities and events of the IBLF, meeting with board members, personally leading meetings and initiatives in over 30 countries and establishing the values of the forum.