Saudi investors voiced their concern yesterday over the way the Ministry of Labor is going about Saudizing the country’s business sector. The issue was taken up during a preliminary meeting to discuss the upcoming 2013 Jeddah Commercial Forum. The forum begins Saturday at the Hilton Hotel.
“There are certain sectors which can’t undergo Saudization at such a fast pace, such as foreign schools and professions like plumbing, construction work,” said Saudi businessman Mahmood Mohammad Al-Maeinah, chairman of the Al Siraj United Company Holding.
He added that many of the government’s projects are executed by foreign companies and it is difficult to impose our labor laws on them at this present stage.
“The government has to appreciate the problems investors are facing. Many businessmen have resorted to investing in other Gulf countries,” he asserted. Al-Maeinah also expressed concern about the lack of proper statistics and studies, documentation and analyses of the market needs.
In addition, he lamented the shortage of colleges and institutions that prepare the youth for various technical jobs.
Meanwhile, Muhyi Al Din Hakami, assistant general-secretary of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said: “The Ministry of Labor will issue a number of resolutions that will support investors and ease their problems.”
He added the JCCI will release a number of studies to support the nationalization of labor. He did not elaborate. Although several employers took issue with the Ministry of Labor, the Commercial Forum will focus instead on petrochemical industries, according to Nashwa Al-Talher, head of the Jeddah Commercial Forum and president of the Trade Committee in the JCCI.
“This meeting was held to announce the inclusion of the sixth session in Jeddah Commercial Forum 2013, which has been hosted to increase the Kingdom’s efforts in combating overflow and support the petrochemical sector,” Al-Talher said.
The Kingdom has $ 53 billion worth of investments in petrochemical industries.
The Kingdom is embarking on petrochemical projects worth $ 12 billion, and other future projects worth $ 41 billion. Other Gulf states are working on projects orth only $19 billion. Al-Talher said this will provide investors with massive opportunities in the future.
Adnan Mandora, general secretary of the Chamber of Trade and Industry in Jeddah, said the forum will come up with ideal solutions.
He stressed the necessity to cooperate with partners in oil sector to maintain exports of petrochemicals, especially since the government is exerting a lot of efforts to terminate the negative effects on social, economic, legal and political levels.
Source: Arab News