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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - By Hazem Al-Mutairi
RIYADH — Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi Tuesday said a comprehensive study to review all expatriate labor fees has been carried out and presented it to the highest authorities. “The topic of expatriate labor fees affects all investors. A meeting was held with the Labor Market Policies Committee with regard to this issue,” he said.
Qasabi made the remarks while inaugurating the Traders’ Council which aimed to strengthen communication among traders. The council’s objectives also include exchange of knowledge and provide traders with an opportunity to negotiate and express their views on issues that are of concern to the commerce sector so as to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program.
Highlighting the significance of the change, the minister said the state continues to review and improve rules and procedures, and amend municipal regulations that were recently issued in a way creating more investment opportunities in future. “There is a qualitative transformation in the Kingdom with immense opportunities and plenty of natural resources ready for investment,” he said while pointing out that the Kingdom has 86,000 commercial registrations in the transport and services sectors alone up to the third quarter of the year.
Referring to investments in Iraq, Al-Qasabi said Saudi exports to Iraq shot up from SR400 million to SR1.8 billion and the Kingdom is working to increase this number. On the electronic market, Al-Qasabi said the volume of e-commerce market reached SR80 billion in the Kingdom, with an increase of 50 percent in the shopping rate while the volume of global e-commerce market stood at $30 trillion. He noted that there are 14 million shoppers in electronic stores in the Kingdom. There are 38,000 stores registered in the Maroof platform, in addition to an increase in the licenses of e-commerce postal companies to 22.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Ajlan Al-Ajlan said that the great support, enjoyed by the Kingdom’s business sector, will enhance the role of the private sector in achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, keeping pace with the development boom that the country is witnessing and its high economic position as one of the 20 major global economies.
Al-Ajlan favored a restriction on the cross-border trade and not an altogether ban. “The consumer has the right to order the product from anywhere in the world,” he said while underlining the need for ensuring the protection of small investors.
Saad Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Commercial Committee at RCCI, said that the trade sector has remained an important pillar in the economic and development renaissance in the Kingdom thanks to the keenness and support from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. “The Ministry of Commerce has played an important role in strengthening the sector’s capabilities and protecting the interests of beneficiaries through the development of effective policies and implementation mechanisms, and thus contributed to having a major impact in achieving sustainable economic development,” he said adding that the newly created Traders Council, which will serve as a bridge for more communication between traders.
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