UK Treasury Chief: Stimulating Economic Growth is New Labour Government's Mission

Britain's Chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech at the Treasury to an audience of leading business figures and senior stakeholders, announcing the first steps the new government will be taking to deliver economic growth, in London, Monday July 8, 2024. (Jonathan Brady/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech at the Treasury to an audience of leading business figures and senior stakeholders, announcing the first steps the new government will be taking to deliver economic growth, in London, Monday July 8, 2024. (Jonathan Brady/Pool Photo via AP)
TT

UK Treasury Chief: Stimulating Economic Growth is New Labour Government's Mission

Britain's Chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech at the Treasury to an audience of leading business figures and senior stakeholders, announcing the first steps the new government will be taking to deliver economic growth, in London, Monday July 8, 2024. (Jonathan Brady/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech at the Treasury to an audience of leading business figures and senior stakeholders, announcing the first steps the new government will be taking to deliver economic growth, in London, Monday July 8, 2024. (Jonathan Brady/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's new Labour government will make stimulating economic growth its mission, the Treasury chief said Monday, pledging to limit bureaucracy to make it easier to invest in the country.
In her first major speech, Rachel Reeves said there was no time to waste to reverse what she called “14 years of chaos and economic instability” under Conservative governments.
“Where governments have been unwilling to take the difficult decisions to deliver growth — or have waited too long to act — I will deliver," she told business leaders and reporters.
Britain’s first female Treasury chief and a former Bank of England economist, Reeves said sustained economic growth was the only way to improve living standards for all and to rebuild the country's stretched and underfunded public services.
She said she's taking immediate action to relax planning rules to remove obstacles to building infrastructure, housing and energy projects.
“To investors and businesses who spent 14 years doubting whether Britain is a safe place to invest, then let me tell you, after 14 years, Britain has a stable government,” she said. “In an uncertain world, Britain is a place to do business.”
Reeves said she will assess the “spending inheritance” left by the Conservatives over the coming months before making the government’s first budget statement later this year.
She pledged to set a mandatory target of 1.5 million new homes in England over the next five years, as well as remove an effective ban on onshore wind energy developments that has been in place since 2015.
British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, who became leader on Friday after a landslide majority in last week's election, has promised to “rebuild the infrastructure of opportunity” for voters frustrated with a stagnant economy, rising poverty and dysfunctional public healthcare.
Soaring rental and mortgage rates and a chronic shortage of housing were among the top issues voters raised during the election campaign. Home-building in Britain has slowed down in the past decades, and in the year to March construction began on about 135,000 homes — down by more than one-fifth compared to the year before.



New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
TT

New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, that work is underway on new regulations and legislation that will facilitate the investment process in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is witnessing a major transformation in the tourism sector after it enacted and developed a number of regulations and launched mega projects that allowed the country to attract more than 100 million visitors last year, the target initially set for 2030.
During a press conference on Wednesday at the Abu Faraj heritage palaces in Al-Aziza, west of the city of Abha in the southern Aseer region, Al-Khatib revealed the ministry’s moves to provide appropriate long-term funding at a competitive cost in order to encourage investment in the Saudi tourism system.
In his remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister pointed to the most prominent achievements in the sector, revealing that the Kingdom received 60 million visitors during the first half of 2024, with spending amounting to SAR 143 billion ($38.1 billion), recording about 10 percent growth in the number of tourists and spending.
He added that by the end of the first half of this year, the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product had reached 5 percent, and was moving steadily toward achieving 10 percent, which is equivalent to SAR 600-700 billion of tourism income.
Moreover, Al-Khatib also spoke about the launch of the Bachelor of International Hospitality Management program, a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, King Khalid University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
He noted that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Colleges of Excellence Company, with the aim of developing human capabilities and expanding international specialized technical colleges and strategic partnership institutes in the field of tourism and hospitality.
Al-Khateeb said 10,000 training opportunities both inside and outside the Kingdom would be allocated to those working in the Aseer region’s tourism sector.
The National Tourism Strategy aims to reach over 150 million local and international tourists by 2030. In 2023, it reached 109 million.
The minister added: “The Tourism Development Fund plays an important role in providing financing, allocating SAR 7.4 billion to enable over 100 tourism projects around the Kingdom with a value exceeding SAR 35 billion.”
He pointed out that the fund financed 10 major projects in the Aseer region, ranging from international hotels to multi-use projects with a value exceeding one billion riyals. International hotel brands included: InterContinental Residence in Abha, DoubleTree in Khamis Mushait Governorate, and Khayal Walk Boulevard.