(MENAFN - Arab News) The Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced yesterday it is speeding up the industrial licensing process and removing hurdles currently faced by companies.
Qassim Al-Maimani, undersecretary for industrial matters at the ministry, met with the the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. He said the implementation of e-service at a ministry level has resulted in drastically reduced processing times.
Al-Maimani said the timeline to issue a commercial registration has been reduced from 14 days to one and a license will be issued within three days rather than 30 days.
A letter of approved work force will be issued in one day instead of 22 days and the time needed for customs exemption has been reduced from six months to seven weeks.
Industrialists participating in the meeting raised the issue of problems faced when starting a business in the industrial sector. These include a lack of transparency on the ministry's part.
Al-Maimani assured participants his office is working to remove all obstacles faced by industry in the Kingdom.
The licensing process has been improved and split into two phases. A company will be issued a one-year preliminary license. The final license is issued after the first year and then renewed every three years. Upon renewal, the company is required to file a company information update.
Details of existing industrial companies have been compiled and ministry officials have inspected each company to verify their information.
Al-Maimani said the ministry plans to increase the number of industrial service centers based on the success of the existing centers in Makkah, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Ahsa and Qassim. Each of the centers is networked electronically resulting in an increase in autonomy, he added.
A total of 5,830 factories with investments of SR 749 billion currently operate across the Kingdom, including 1,368 operating in Makkah province.
Al-Maimani said workshops would be offered in the near future to brainstorm issues relating to customs exemption.
Other issues tabled during the meeting include the need for greater trust between the private sector and government departments and the need for decentralization of administration to allow new licenses to be issued by provincial offices and eliminate the need for approval from Riyadh.