PREPARING FOR VISION 2030

Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Hassan Ibrahim Dahlan, Secretary General of Jeddah Chamber, on promoting trade in Saudi's second city, Vision 2030, and supporting SMEs.

What markets does Jeddah Chamber undertake to promote trade in the near future?

Most of the commercial markets are under our attention, especially those serving the investment in SMEs as they are considered to be the umbrella for the private sector. They have always been keen to take care of the interests of their business and community members in order to improve the economy of the Kingdom in general, based on its vision of supporting the business sector in order to achieve sustainable economic development. It works to achieve its mission of optimizing investment in development, technology and services to improve the quality of life according to the values of customer service, cooperation, excellence, efficiency, and transparency.

How does Jeddah Chamber transform its strategy to contribute to achieving the goals of Vision 2030?

There is no doubt that the Kingdom's Vision 2030 is at the center of its strategic transformation, while the Chamber has witnessed many developments and expansions at the administrative and organizational levels to improve services for the participants. Highlights of the development include its expansion to different governorates of the region to provide services to the business owners in its branches in Rabigh, Al-Laith, and Al-Qunfudah. The chamber has also launched the largest electronic project under the name of 'E- attestation', which is the first of its kind at the level of Saudi Chambers, it allows the Chamber's subscribers to ratify the editors through the offices without the need to refer to the Chamber for ratification, whether the participant is in or outside the Kingdom and at any time for the convenience and to save time for them. The role of the Chamber has emerged in supporting the Kingdom's economic position when it launched the annual Jeddah Economic Forum in 2000 and soon became The Makkah Region Economic Forum and that was the birth of this new forum, which has become one of the most important economic events in the region.

What measures does Jeddah Chamber take to encourage the private sector to invest in the region's economy?

Jeddah Chamber encourages the private sector to provide quality services to its business owners by adopting pioneering initiatives and development projects which add value for it to reflect the natural role of the effective contribution of the development of the national economy within the framework of the strategic directions and the institutional programs in which it works to further improve the level and effectiveness of the services provided to its associate members and meet their future needs. Jeddah Chamber, represented by its Board of Directors at the 21st session, adopted an ambitious strategic plan that represents a future perspective in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's vision 2030 and the National Transition Program 2020 by stimulating the performance of the private sector and enhancing its investment capabilities. In view of opportunities for economic and social development with an integrated and sustainable development vision of global standards, in a message that promotes quality services and institutional and human development, in order to contribute effectively to achieve the vision and to reflect its aspirations and ambitions.

How can SMEs and entrepreneurs benefit from being part of Jeddah Chamber?

Small and medium enterprises represent an important segment of Jeddah Chamber's interest in supporting and developing its contribution to economic and social development by contributing to the creation of an appropriate and encouraging working environment for its establishment and continuation in cooperation with the concerned parties in supporting and organizing small and medium enterprises. And to work as a link between the concerned parties to serve the development of the sector, in order to spread the culture of entrepreneurship in the community and develop the spirit of initiative and leadership among young people and to benefit from international programs directed to the development of small and medium enterprises, benefit from successful international experiences in the promotion, development of this important sector, preparation and provision of studies and modern information and data, enhance competitiveness in this sector.

How does Jeddah Chamber cooperate with other chambers to stimulate direct foreign investment in the Kingdom?

Each year, the Chamber attends a large volume of foreign delegations' visits to foreign investment development and development under the umbrella of the Council of Saudi Chambers, which focus on overcoming difficulties faced by Saudi businessmen and their counterparts from different countries. This plays a role in promoting mutual investment relations, increasing trade exchange, and opening up prospects for investments that improve the diversity of the global economy.

What are the main events to be organized by Jeddah Chamber during the period 2018-2019?

Its role in the Makkah Economic Forum is an integral part of its participation in addition to more festivals and events that will continue throughout the year, whether tourism such as Jeddah Summer Festival or related to the entertainment, sports and cultural aspects in cooperation with the relevant bodies, in addition to workshops and meetings held under the umbrella of the sectoral committees of the Chamber, which is established by the continuity and presence of these events of value added to the community of Jeddah and the region in general.

What are the changes proposed by Jeddah Chamber to implement Saudization systems?

The Saudization of jobs is an approach that the Kingdom has succeeded in creating all ways to implement it in order to provide job opportunities for the Saudi youth in various fields. Jeddah Chamber is one of the leading chambers in this field. It launches career paths in cooperation with private sector establishments in all professional and administrative fields benefiting a large number of the country's young men and women in addition to providing training and refining the promising capabilities to achieve the requirements of the Saudi labor market.