Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Saudi- Kurdi: Jobs race is getting tough  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 27/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


Usamah M. Kurdi, member of Shoura Council and chairman of Saudi Arabia Philatelic Society, speaks to Arab News at his head office in Riyadh.
(MENAFN - Arab News) Investing in solar energy, boosting the education process and diversifying national revenues are the three main concerns of Usamah M. Kurdi, member of Shoura Council and chairman of Saudi Arabia Philatelic Society.
The Kingdom should find a new source of energy alternative to oil, Kurdi told Diana Al-Jassem of Arab News in an exclusive interview. He emphasized that the Kingdom's reliance on oil could be reduced by further developing national human resources and increasing dependence on SMEs. He stressed the need to strengthen SMEs adding that speedy solutions are needed for housing problems to improve the Saudi lifestyle and tackle employment.


Rapid change

What, in your opinion, are changes that would have a major impact on the lives of Saudi nationals?
The most important issue affecting the people of Saudi Arabia is related to the economy. This is the element that affects people worldwide. Economic changes or structural changes will impact the life of Saudi nationals. There is a need to reduce the dependence on oil exports as the major source of revenue. We need to increase government support to manufacturing. We saw new sectors such as tourism taking roots in the Kingdom's economy. We have seen a lot of investments in tourism. Mining, aluminum, cement, precious stones and steel are also some of the other good economic sources. Creating economic and industrial cities is a major economic development. The Knowledge City in Madinah and economic cities in Hail are also tools to create competitive economic advantages in favor of Saudi Arabia.
Curriculum development and changes in the education system will have a positive impact on Saudi nationals. Expansion of universities and diversification of education to include relatively new areas and training will help diversify the list of professions for young and aspiring Saudis. From the political perspective, I think introducing elections at the municipal level is the cornerstone for the Kingdom's ongoing development. It will positively impact the livelihood of Saudi nationals. When we put together economic and education diversification plus the municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, the result will be obvious on society.

Role of leadership

What do you think of the leadership roles regarding organizations in the Kingdom? What are the factors/reasons for their current state?
Many different organizations, both in the government and private sectors, are created to support the economy and its growth. For example, we saw the creation of the Supreme Economic Council, which is a very important tool to speed up the economic decision process, and follow up the implementation of major economic policies like Saudization and privatization. There are other organizations that have been created to improve the decision-making process and support the private sector. These include Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA). Furthermore, I believe that the partnership between government and the private sector is playing a major role in developing the Saudi economy. The expansion of industrial projects and establishment of telecommunication companies have confirmed the government's plan to achieve sustainable development in Saudi Arabia.

Challenging tasks

What are the most difficult decisions that need to be applied in the Kingdom within the next 20 years?
That is a difficult question, but I think an issue that needs to be addressed very carefully and closely is one of housing. There is a housing shortage, which is why the Ministry of Housing was created in Saudi Arabia. As the number of houses is still limited, I wonder how we can handle this issue within the next 20 years and how it will impact Saudi Arabia. We have quite a few indications to show that housing requirements have to be met for both Saudis and expatriates.

Sustainable development

What goals would you set for the Kingdom's development and how do you think these goals can be achieved?
The goals of Saudi Arabia are very clear in the five-year development plan. Each different development plan has certain requirements for execution. This time I believe that my role as a member of the Shoura council is to follow up the implementation of the five-year development plan. I cannot say anything about the goals because they are enormous. My role is to assist the execution of five-year development plans and ensure that these goals are achieved.

Creative project

Give us an example of the most creative project that you wish to establish in the Kingdom.
I think part of the Kingdom's progress is linked to reducing its dependence on oil as the main source of energy. Sustainable energy is important to be on Saudi Arabia's agenda. This will protect the environment. There is a huge program for using nuclear energy. I would like to support this plan and be part of it.

KSA in three words

What three words would you use to describe the Kingdom within the coming 20 years?
Progress: Progress in many different areas.
Economy: Continuous economic development.
People: Major human resource development.

Human rights

How can we all improve human rights in Saudi Arabia? What are your expectations regarding human rights practices in the coming 20 years?
Because human rights are a basic Islamic requirement, the government has created important organizations for human rights. One is a government organization while the other is a civil society for human rights. These two departments work hard for developing human rights from the perspective of government and civil society. I am satisfied with what all they do and I hope they continue with their work and improve further. My suggestions for these two organizations are to include in their agenda the dissemination of the human rights awareness in Saudi Arabia and to inform the world more about how the Kingdom is focusing on human rights.

Biggest challenge

What are the challenges facing the Kingdom today?
Housing, diversification of the economy, developing and streamlining education are our three main challenges that we have already started addressing. By giving more attention to these three issues, we could resolve the issue of employment.

Prominent economic activities

What are the most prominent economic activities in the Kingdom?
I think we need to see more preparedness for adopting the latest and upcoming information technology. We are developing in this sector, but we need to do more in terms of legal and practical aspects. In addition, we need to pay attention to alternative energy and support the private sector participation in that. This will help us to boost our electricity needs.

Housing growth

There is a huge demand for housing in the Kingdom because of the ever-increasing young population. The government has also put an emphasis on this sector as it allocated SR 250 billion in this year's budget for housing. Do you believe housing sector needs much more attention from the government and private sectors?
The housing community in Saudi Arabia is enormous. The government recently issued the bylaws of mortgage law, which is a very important step. The investment interest in housing will dramatically increase once the bylaws come into effect and the basic operating principals are determined. The ability of this sector to provide housing will increase. I am making this statement based on what has happened in the insurance law. There were not as many companies interested in insurance in Saudi Arabia until the insurance law came into existence. I believe the housing needs in Saudi Arabia can be met through cost reduction. Affordability will benefit both Saudi nationals and expatriates.

Role of SMEs

There is a need to boost small business enterprises (SMEs) sector in the Kingdom as it creates various jobs. What role do you see for SMEs in Kingdom's ongoing economic development?
The participation of the SMEs in Saudi Arabia is smaller than what it is in other countries. This has happened because of our major dependence on oil as a contributor to the GDP. If we are serious about SMEs, we should keep in mind the importance of SMEs as a major player in the economy in terms of creating many job opportunities. SMEs' participation in the GDP in some countries is as much as 80 percent. I wish to see the same participation here in Saudi Arabia. I also would like to see more organizations to promote the activities of SMEs in Saudi Arabia. Some organizations are paying attention to SMEs like Shoura Council. There are also activities of chambers of commerce and industry to support SMEs. Furthermore, we need to support SMEs financially. More coordination among organizations and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is needed for promoting SMEs.

Knowledge hunt

Education is always a top priority for the Saudi government. What are the changes do you envisage in the education system so that Saudi youth gain more from a knowledge-based economic system?
For a long time, I believed that education is required only for boosting our knowledge. Recently, I changed my mind. I want to see education addressing the labor market needs. This is of utmost importance and I want to see the government doing more for achieving that.

Fair opportunities

How do you see Saudi women's contribution in the labor sector and social and political areas in the next 20 years? What is required in order for Saudi women to actualize your future vision?
I am very happy that the government of Saudi Arabia issued the resolution decision No. 120. This decision is about five years' old. It talks about employment of women, women's business, creation of women's departments in all government agencies, and creation of a national committee of women at the various Saudi chambers of commerce and industry. I have seen progress in these matters; more jobs are being created for women, law is being changed enabling women to obtain license for doing business or working in different sectors. In addition, we see a large number of higher education institutes for women, at universities and colleges, both in the government and private sectors.

What is required in order for Saudi women to actualize your future vision?
Saudi women should get their education, pursue jobs, be an integral part of the business community, and participate in the activities of different women's organizations.

Saudi media

What measures and standards are yet to be introduced to Saudi media, and what are your expectations in the next 20 years? What impact will social media have on traditional media?
There is no doubt that all media is moving toward the modern media format. I think traditional media are trying to be a vital part of modern media.

Learning from the past

What are three or four mistakes that have been repeated in the Kingdom during the past 10 decades and how could we eliminate them in order to develop the Kingdom?
This is a very challenging question that needs a lot of thinking. We have noticed in discussions how corruption needs to be addressed, tackled and rooted out. I would like to suggest expansion of the anti-corruption department in Saudi Arabia.

Message to youth

Given that the youth make up the majority of the Saudi population, what message would you want conveyed to them? What else would you say to the rest of the population?
For youth, education is very important, especially as competition for jobs is getting tougher by the day in Saudi Arabia and overseas. My advice to young Saudi nationals is never put a full stop to education, as that's the key for self-development and the country's progress. Education is the backbone of the nation's onward march. Saudi Arabia has created an extremely conducive environment for creating jobs and doing business. It is important for citizens and residents to make use of this environment and contribute to the development and progress of Saudi Arabia.


KURDI'S TOP GOALS:

Major changes required:
- Developing alternative source of energy
- Diversification of the education system
- Solving housing problems

Challenging tasks:
Solving the housing problem for both Saudi nationals and expatriates

Creative project he dreams to see:
- Investment in nuclear energy

He describes the Kingdom in three words:
- Progress
- Economy
- People

He believes biggest challenges are:
- Housing
- Diversification of the economy
- Development of education

He says neglected sectors are:
- Information industry and technology

Requirement for housing development:
- Speeding up mortgage bylaws

The role of SMEs in the economy:
- The SME sector should be expanded more for the benefit of the economy

Major changes in education:
- Higher education to address Saudi market's needs

Saudi women's role:
- They should be more active in compliance with changing Saudi laws

Mistakes could be avoided by:
- Expanding the role and effectiveness of anticorruption authority

Message to Saudi nationals:
- Education is the only key to achieve development

 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 15 2014VistaJet Bombardier Claims Landmark Julius Baer Beach Polo Title ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Julius Baer Beach Polo Cup Dubai 2014 presented by Cadillac was claimed yesterday by an 8-4 VistaJet Bombardier victory over the title sponsors, following two days of furious polo ...

Apr 15 2014Doha Bank named Best Retail Bank in Qatar by the Asian Banker ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Doha Bank, the leading private commercial bank in Qatar, was named the Best Retail Bank in Qatar at The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards Ceremony held this ...

Apr 15 2014Omnix International successfully hosts Autodesk event for local CAD, BIM and IT managers ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Omnix International, the MENA region's leading provider of computer aided engineering solutions, successfully hosted an Autodesk event targeting local CAD, BIM and IT managers at the ...

Apr 15 2014Lord Mayor of London meets with the BIBF ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Lord Mayor of London, Right Honorouble Alderman Fiona Woolf visited the BIBF recently to meet with Senior Management and discuss opportunities for improved support from UK-based ...

Apr 15 2014Excellent survival rates for paediatric lymphoma has motivated research efforts in the Middle East ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) According to the American Cancer Society, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) accounts for about 6% of all childhood cancers. Hodgkin disease accounts for about another 4 % . Although adult ...

Apr 15 2014Gulf Finance House hold ordinary and extraordinary general meetings ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain based Islamic investment bank, today concluded the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meetings of the Bank for the twelve-months ended 31 ...

Apr 15 2014Etisalat Honours 39 Sales Partners at 2nd Annual Conference ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Etisalat, the UAE's leading telecom provider, celebrated the achievements of 39 of its channel partners at the 2nd annual sales partners conference. The event was attended by ...

Apr 15 2014Ericsson cloud Transformation, a key enabler of the networked society ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) As a part of its participation at Cloud World Forum MENA 2014, Ericsson discussed the opportunities enabled by the Cloud in light with the significant transformation of the Information ...

Apr 15 2014ENOC Retail offers over 60 lucky customers at ZOOM stores on Dubai Metro network free travel for a year ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Lucky customers of ZOOM convenience stores operated by ENOC Retail on the Dubai Metro network now stand to win a daily prize of free commuting on the world's largest driverless metro ...

Apr 15 2014du celebrates more than two successful years of Emirati Plan - the mobile package exclusively for UAE nationals ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) 2014 is the year when Emirati Plan – du's exclusive plan for UAE nationals will enter its third year, and yet it stands head and shoulders above any other comparable plan in the ...

Apr 15 2014Kuwaiti plan to award USD4.3b oil project ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) The head of state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) said that his country plans to sign a USD4.2 billion contract for the first phase of a heavy oil production project, Arabian Business ...

Apr 15 2014Sharjah rents up 7% in Q1 as Dubai residents relocate ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Sharjah is benefiting from ongoing rental rate rises in Dubai as residents look to relocate to more affordable accommodation according to a Q1 2014 Northern Emirates report from ...

Apr 15 201416th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2014 opened ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The 16th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2014), was inaugurated today by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of ...

Apr 15 2014The Address Hotels + Resorts win multiple accolades at 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Address Hotels + Resorts, the five-star premium brand of Emaar Hospitality Group, has underlined its credentials in the recreation and leisure sector, winning four top laurels at ...

Apr 15 2014Dubai to start testing USD1 b Tram project ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will soon start the second phase of testing Dubai Tram project, which worth USD1 billion, according to Arabian Business. Testing in the second ...

Apr 15 2014KUWAIT DECLARATION CALLS FOR BOLSTERING ARAB TIES ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times)  kuwait city march 26 (agencies): arab leaders called wednesday for a political solution to the conflict in syria overlooking saudi-backed demands for greater military ...

Apr 15 2014Kuwait- Amir thanks ministers and senior officials for 'constructive' summit ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city march 27 (agencies): his highness the amir sheikh sabah al-ahmad al-jaber al-sabah sent letters of appreciations to senior officials and ministers for their ...

Apr 15 2014Reactions positive to Arab Summit hosted by Kuwait ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Capitals march 28 (kuna): several arab governments are pleased with the outcomes of the wednesday-concluded two-day arab summit held in kuwait with some non-arab observers ...

Apr 15 2014Kuwait urges world to safeguard human rights ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Geneva march 28 (kuna): kuwait called on friday on the international community take responsibility in safeguarding human rights urging all countries to follow the vienna ...

Apr 15 2014Kuwait pays heed to intellectual property protection ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait march 30 (kuna): kuwait attaches much attention to intellectual property protection due to its significance to the economic development process said a senior commerce ...

more...


 
Live Currency Rates






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help