Saudi Gazette – The clothes design committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) has announced the creation of a new training academy that will train over 1,000 Saudi women every year. The committee will also start a factory that will be run by Saudi creative designers.
Furthermore, the committee will inaugurate a new shopping mall allocated for clothes designed by Saudi females. The aim is to provide more job opportunities for Saudis and also to reduce the large percentage of imported clothes, which constitute 90% of clothes displayed in the local market.
The head of the clothes design committee at the JCCI, Omaima Azouz, noted that they take their initiative to improve the sector as part of the transformation plan that is happening in the Kingdom. “We aim at becoming productive rather than being only consumers, bearing in mind that women participation in the industrial sector does not exceed 2%.”
Regarding the design academy, she said, that they are putting the final touches with their partner from France and, this cooperation will allow the trainees to be able to join the job market.
Speaking about their other plans, she said, “We have delivered a proposal to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to get the approval to establish a clothes design factory and we have met with officials in this regard.” They are also working with our partners to create a shopping center for Female designers, she added, stating, “Our success will not see light unless we all work together and we receive support from everyone.”
According to another participant Yahya Al-Bishri, a Saudi designer, the sector faces number of challenges mainly that the designers focus on designing Abayas and Thoubs. He noted that the license is given to investors only in the third industrial city, which is located 100 kms away from Jeddah, while this service should be allocated not far from consumers. Al-Bishri highlighted the importance of training to develop the sector and added that bureaucracy tend to obstruct advancement of the sector.
Meanwhile, Mahir ibn Sidiq the supervisor of commerce inspection at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in Jeddah noted that they would start to increase their inspection tours to combat counterfeiting and to monitor the implementation of ministry standards and to monitor the prices.
Ten speakers presented their views in the clothes design 2030 vision at the JCCI and addressed various ways to advance the sector and overcome challenges facing it. According to JCCI figures the investment in this sector exceeds SR15 billion. Adnan Mandora, secretary general of the JCCI, said, focus should be on creating partnerships and providing more training to nationals, providing high quality products at reasonable prices.