Arab News – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will patronize the 7th Riyadh Economic Forum on Tuesday at Riyadh International Center for Exhibition and Conferences.
According to key figures at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), the forum acts as the paramount national platform to diagnose economic and development issues related to the national economy. It also acts to boost the capability of the Saudi economy to meet local, regional and global challenges.
The forum acts to promote the partnership between the two major players — the public and the private sectors. In addition, it works as a vehicle for solutions to these challenges and to implement key decisions. The three-day forum will address four major issues.
The first day will discuss recent developments in the judicial system and their implications on the national economy. The session will be chaired by Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani.
On the second day, the discussion will center on developments in information technology and their implications on a knowledge-based economy. The session will be chaired by Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasir, an adviser at the royal court. On the same day, the economics of alternative and renewable energy and challenges and prospects in the field will be discussed in a session headed by Prince Turki bin Saud Al-Saud, president of the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The third day will witness a discussion on the capacity of the Saudi economy to create suitable and sustainable employment opportunities. The session will be headed by Labor Minister Mufreh Al-Haqabani.
Speaking to Arab News, a number of Saudi businessmen expressed high hopes that the royal patronage would result in a fruitful outcome for the national economy in these challenging times.
Yasmin Al-Sorour of the CSC said it was commendable that the forum had continued its work for seven consecutive years.
He hoped that the forum would discuss the diversification of the economy and how to boost the SMEs since they represent 80 percent of commercial and service activities in most countries, including Saudi Arabia, and employ over 60 percent of global manpower.
He said the forum was very important because it is one of the top consultative platforms for the decision makers in a country with one of the strongest economies in the world.
Abdullah bin Zaid Al-Melehi, chairman of the Arab-Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce, said the forum was a very suitable venue for highlighting and exploring the prospects of recent decisions taken by the Cabinet and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on forming new companies, imposing taxes on unused lands, and improving investment conditions and climate in the country.
Abdullah Al-Maghlooth, a member of the Saudi-British Business Council at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said the forum was well known because of its role as an important generator of information on the economic climate that helps attract local and international investments.
He added that the forum helped minimize business and investment obstacles and locate opportunities to support productivity by establishing proper economic structures to carry out large commercial and industrial projects.
He hoped that the forum would discuss the prospects for expanding youth employment as well as handling obstacles in government departments dealing with business and investment.
Abdul Azeem Turkistani, a board member of Taif Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), said the forum was well established on the Saudi economic scene and had both a national and an international reputation.
He hoped that the forum would take decisions to make the private sector more responsive in supporting economic reforms, in addition to finding more effective ways for the quick creation of more jobs for young Saudis and for establishing SMEs owned by Saudis.