Finland to train technicians

Finland to train technicians
Updated 05 November 2014

Finland to train technicians

Finland to train technicians

The Kingdom and Finland are to embark on a joint plan to offer technical and vocational education to Saudi youth.
The modalities of cooperation were discussed on Monday during a meeting between Deputy Labor Minister Moufarrej Al-Haqbani and Krista Kiuru, Finland’s minister of education, science and communications, at the Labor Ministry headquarters.
Ahmed Al-Fehaid, undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor for international labor affairs, and Finnish Ambassador Pekka Voutilainen were also present during the talks.
The talks centered on the areas of training, employment and rehabilitation and ways to encourage young Saudis to choose vocational and technical education in preference to public education and academic disciplines.
During the talks, Al-Haqbani said the Kingdom is keen on harnessing the expertise of Finland in providing vocational education to Saudi youth to fulfill the growing demand for technical jobs.
Expressing the government’s keenness on diversifying its economy, Al-Haqbani said that exchange of experience between the two countries would help build the Saudi manpower to cater to the demands of the Kingdom’s labor market.
Minister Kiuru said her country, which has a wide experience in technical and vocational education, would be ready to cooperate with the Kingdom in developing its human resources.
Al-Fehaid explained that there were only 1.4 million Saudis in the private sector, compared with 8.2 million foreign workers. He stressed the need to train the local work force in all relevant areas in the private sector.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia and Finland signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of telecommunications. The memorandum was signed by Kiuru and Mohamed Jamil bin Ahmed Mulla, minister of communications and information technology, at the Saudi ministry’s office in the capital.
The accord includes broadband, digital media and cyber security.
Nokia has already done a great deal in facilitating further cooperation between the two countries, she said.
Finland has agreements on education with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC).
Kiuru was accompanied by a large delegation comprising senior officials and technical experts in education and telecommunications.
Ambassador Voutilainen said that Finnish excellence in education has inspired educators worldwide to seek out the key factors behind their success story. The envoy also said the Kingdom is keen on strengthening its education sector and, since its establishment, had always allocated the highest per capita to the education sector and that, like Finland, education in Saudi Arabia is free for all citizens.
Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently launched a program to overhaul Saudi schools and ordered the allocation of $22 billion for this ambitious task, which includes building schools to train more than 25,000 teachers and sending many of them abroad for higher education.
According to the ambassador, the balance of trade is slightly in favor of Finland.
He added that Finland is not currently importing petrochemicals from the Kingdom and expressed hope to change this. The Kingdom imports heavy machinery and ICT from Finland, he added.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral political consultations between their respective ministries of foreign affairs in Jeddah in October 2007.


Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. (SPA)
Updated 19 January 2021

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
  • The new regulations cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic

RIYADH: The General Assembly of the Saudi Supreme Court has ordered the waiving of overdue rents on businesses hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and called for a review of such contracts between tenants and owners.

The steps have been taken in view of the circumstances caused by the pandemic, wherein an obligation or contract cannot be implemented without unusual losses.

The president of the Supreme Court, Khalid bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Luhaidan, approved the decisions backed by 32 members of the assembly, Okaz newspaper reported.

Authorities have set conditions that have to be met before a case can be considered for review under the new regulations.

If a contract was concluded before the commencement of the preventive measures announced in the wake of the pandemic, then the impact was direct and unavoidable. If in such a case, an affected party was not compensated or did not reach a deal to mitigate the impact of the health crisis, then it qualifies for a review and the new regulations will then take effect, said legal sources.

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

It also said the new provisions will be applicable to tenancy contracts and movable properties affected by the pandemic.

It clarified that if, due to the pandemic, a tenant was unable to use the leased property, in whole or in part, the court would reduce the rent as much as the usually intended benefit was reduced.

A lessor, meanwhile, does not have the right to terminate the contract if a tenant is late in paying rent for the period during which it was impossible to fully or partly use the property due to the pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

The new regulations also cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic.

If the pandemic causes an increase to the cost of materials and labor wages, etc., the court shall increase the value of the contract while ensuring the obligor can afford to bear the expense. The obligee, upon increasing the obligation, has the right to request the termination of the contract. If the increase in the cost of materials is temporary, the court reserves the right to temporarily suspend the contract.

If the pandemic causes a shortage of material in the market, the court can reduce the quantity to the extent it deems sufficient to protect the obligor from harm.

Moreover, if the shortage of materials is temporary, the court can temporarily suspend the contract if the person obligated to it is not severely affected by this suspension. If he is harmed, he may request termination of the contract. If the materials were not available at all, leading to the impossibility of implementing the contractual obligations or some of them, the court will terminate the clauses that are impossible to implement upon the request of one of the parties to the contract.

If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. If the other party fears unusual damage due to the suspension, he may request termination of the contract.

In addition, the court also stressed the need to carefully assess the damages on a case-to-case basis, and that one or more experts should do the assessment. While assessing damages, it should be made clear what losses were incurred directly due to the pandemic and had nothing do to with seasonal upswing in certain activities.

The Supreme Court explained that a court is bound, when considering cases arising from contracts and obligations affected by the pandemic, not to apply penalty clause or fines in whole or in part — depending on the case.

In the event that a contract includes a clause of exemption from liability for one of the contracting parties when an emergency or force majeure occurs, the condition has no effect, and the party that breaches the obligation must provide evidence that the pandemic was the reason for the breach.

The affected contracts that are not covered by the provisions of this principle shall be subject to the legal and statutory litigation principles, said the court.

Commenting on the decision, Talal Albotty, the regional director of the Central Region, Salama Insurance Co., said there is a type of insurance called “suspension of operations” because of continuous epidemics, and falls under property insurance.

“This type of insurance can be found in European countries and some Asian countries but it is not applicable in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News. “The insurance against projects does not exist because when the project stops, insurance stops.”

Regarding the rise in prices of commodities, or the increase in prices because of pandemics and suspension of imports, a condition must be added stating that the value of property or project must increase by 10-25 percent, he added.

“Now most reinsurance companies around the world stopped offering insurance related to pandemics and contagious diseases in most countries, including COVID-19, because their impact was huge and the companies sustained huge losses,” he said.

Saudi lawyer Reem Alajmi said the resolution aims to treat and remedy the losses incurred by parties to the contract in terms of obligations.

“The parties could not fulfil their obligations because of a lack of sufficient resources or suspension of working hours during the pandemic. Fulfilling the obligation fully or partially was difficult because COVID-19 pandemic was a force majeure,” she told Arab News.

According to Alajmi, the effects or damage caused by the pandemic must not be covered by other laws. “Proving the occurrence of damage is the responsibility of the plaintiff and the defendant based on evidence submitted to the court,” she added. “The contracts and obligations are amended accordingly.”