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Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

The chamber is working tirelessly to bolster the role of SMEs as the backbone of the Kingdom's economy.

Hasan Ibrahim Dahlan
BIOGRAPHY
Hasan Ibrahim Dahlan studied at King Abdul Aziz University and worked for three years at the same institution. In 2002, he began his career in the private sector. Prior to his current role, he was Deputy Secretary General of Jeddah Chamber.

In what markets will the Jeddah Chamber promote trade in the near future?

Most of the commercial markets have come under our attention, especially those serving investments in SMEs, which are considered to be the backbone of 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 overall economy of the Kingdom, based on its vision of supporting the business sector and achieving sustainable economic development. It works to achieve its mission of optimizing investment in development, technology, and services to improve the quality of life through customer service, cooperation, excellence, efficiency, and transparency.

How is Jeddah Chamber transforming 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, though the chamber has already witnessed many developments and expansions at the administrative and organizational levels to improve services for participants. One important highlight of the effort was its expansion into different governorates of the region to provide services to business owners in its Rabigh, Al-Laith, and Al-Qunfudah branches. The chamber has also launched the largest electronic project under the name of 'E- attestation,' the first of its kind among Saudi chambers, which allows the chamber's subscribers to ratify editors without the need to refer to the chamber. The chamber also supported the Kingdom's economic position when it launched the annual Jeddah Economic Forum in 2000, which soon became the Makkah Region Economic Forum, 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 pioneering initiatives and development projects that add value to the national economy. At its 21st session, Jeddah Chamber 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, it left a strong message promoting quality services and institutional and human development.

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

SMEs 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 to cooperate between the concerned parties in supporting and organizing SMEs. In order to spread a culture of entrepreneurship and develop a spirit of initiative and leadership among young people, it is leading a number of international programs directed at developing SMEs with the goal of enhancing competitiveness in the sector.

How does Jeddah Chamber cooperate with other chambers to stimulate FDI in the Kingdom?

Each year the chamber hosts a large volume of foreign delegations under the umbrella of the Council of Saudi Chambers, which focuses on overcoming difficulties faced by Saudi businesspeople and their counterparts from different countries. This plays a role in promoting mutual investment relations, increasing trade, and opening up prospects for investment that improve the diversity of the global economy.

What events are you organizing for 2018-2019?

The chamber's role in the Makkah Economic Forum is integral to our mission, though other events related to tourism, such as the Jeddah Summer Festival, are also key.

What changes is Jeddah Chamber proposing in order to further Saudization?

The Saudization of jobs is an approach that the Kingdom has succeeded in creating numerous job opportunities for Saudi youth in various fields, and Jeddah Chamber is one of the leading chambers in this field.