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Saudi Entities Coordinate to Facilitate Issuing 'Entrepreneurship' Licenses in the Kingdom

Saudi Entities Coordinate to Facilitate Issuing 'Entrepreneurship' Licenses in the Kingdom

Tuesday, 29 March, 2022 - 08:15
Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih speaking at a panel during GEC (Asharq AL-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih announced that visiting Saudi Arabia in 2030 will be an opportunity for work, stability, investment, and future building.

Falih indicated that the economic development in the Kingdom would lead to the development of the entire region, noting that Ministries of Investment and Commerce are collaborating to create the appropriate environment and facilitate investment licensing procedures that support the entrepreneurship sector.

Supporting the Sector

The minister stressed that Saudi Arabia is interested in investing in entrepreneurship and its activities, providing all means and incentives to support it.

Falih was speaking at a panel as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at) in cooperation with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).

He said that Saudi Arabia has all the main elements of investments and is considered a fertile land for investors and companies at the international level.

According to the Minister, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman led the Kingdom by supporting and diversifying the economy, and oil will not be the only economic tributary.

Economic diversity will not be limited to large companies, said Falih, explaining that entrepreneurs will create job opportunities that contribute to the economy.

E-health has become one of the government's priorities in the country, noted Falih.

The minister asserted that it is essential to encourage entrepreneurs to take bold decisions, noting that by 2030 there will be more young men and women in leadership positions.

AlUla Prospects

CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate Amr al-Madani stated that the economy is the primary driver responsible for advancing entrepreneurship to achieve Vision 2030 led by the Crown Prince.

He explained that tourism is an important aspect of the local economy, pointing out that the Crown Prince set a clear goal for tourism to support the growth of the local economy.

AlUla is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Kingdom, asserted Madani, adding that economic growth in the governorate plays a vital role in entrepreneurship.

He pointed out that more job opportunities will be available in more significant markets, indicating that tourism in the Kingdom has improved in recent years.

Madani disclosed that the Commission and Monsha'at cooperate to support entrepreneurs in the governorate, including the business incubator and Vibes AlUla platform.

He expects the capital to grow by more than 40 percent, creating 30,000 jobs and doubling the number of companies, indicating that tourism represents 70 percent in AlUla, and other targeted industries represent 30 percent.

Madani called on entrepreneurs to participate in and benefit from investment opportunities in AlUla.

Entrepreneur Development

ACWA Power Chairman of the Board of Directors Mohammed Abunayyan said that Saudi youth achieved qualitative leaps in all fields, including the energy sector.

Saudi Arabia paid particular attention to Saudi youth and entrepreneurs by developing education and training, said Abunayyan.

He reviewed ACWA Power's growth since 2004, when it started with nine employees, announcing that it now has over 5,000 employees, with a capital of more than $60 billion.

Abunayyan added that entrepreneurs are the basis for economic growth in the Kingdom, calling them to support the economy and local development, stressing that many opportunities are available to young people.

Innovation Initiatives

The Ministry of Investment signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Monsha'at and the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (Sdaia) to further extend support to start-ups.

The MoU concluded with Monsha'at aims to align the national strategy for small and medium enterprises and the national investment strategy, along with initiatives and programs in the innovation and entrepreneurship sector.

The second memorandum with Sdaia also matches the strategies and objectives of the two entities to enable entrepreneurship and SMEs to develop the data and artificial intelligence sector in the Kingdom.

The agreement seeks to find attractive investments for local and foreign investors to achieve the ambitions, goals, and related strategies.

New companies

Six international companies received entrepreneurship licenses to operate in Saudi Arabia under the ministry's keenness to facilitate business for investors.

The MoUs and the licenses stem from the Ministry of Investment's plan to support innovators and entrepreneurs and facilitate their access to opportunities in the Kingdom.

They also seek to benefit from the facilities Saudi Arabia provides, including addressing challenges that may face the sector during its establishment, which contributes to achieving economic diversity and increasing investment opportunities in new and emerging sectors following Vision 2030.

Sector Financing

The Small and Medium Enterprises Bank announced the approved budget for financing amounting to about $3.20 billion, and the contribution of financing agencies to the financing gateway for 2022 has reached approximately $1.95 billion.

"Etkal" platform

The CEO of the Saudi Organization for Chartered and Professional Accountants (SOCPA), Ahmed al-Maghamis, and the CEO of THIQAH Company, Ayman al-Fallaj, inaugurated the new "Etkal" platform, which provides e-accounting services to beneficiaries and accounting and auditing services providers.

Etkal provides several electronic services that allow SMEs to employ licensed and accredited accountants. It also provides auditing services that offer a contractual outlet for companies with accredited auditing firms.

The authority explained that the platform creates a digital accounting environment that helps businesses grow through several registered and licensed service providers.

The platform will also increase employment offers in the private sector for Saudi accountants, raise localization, and organize the freelance accountant profession and services market.

The Etkal platform is under the supervision of SOCPA and will be developed and operated by Thiqah according to the highest standards of quality and efficiency.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Meanwhile, the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) signed two cooperation agreements with the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Aramco on the sidelines of the conference.

The agreements seek to contribute to local content development, raise industrial investment, and overcome financing obstacles.

It also aims to include Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in energy, mining, industry, and logistics, in line with Vision 2030.

The agreement with Aramco set the establishment of a framework to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the parties regarding programs to develop the local entrepreneurship system and other initiatives related to supporting Saudi youth in the region.

It will also support entrepreneurs and investors to take advantage of business opportunities within the programs provided by the specialized centers.

It included facilitating joint work partnerships and achieving the desired results for both parties through cooperation in areas of common interest.

They will also exchange practical and scientific experiences and research ways of cooperation through joint projects or programs that contribute to developing the entrepreneurship environment in the Kingdom.

The agreement with SABIC included cooperation with Nusaned to invest in promising small and medium industrial projects and exchange studies and updated reports on the industrial market.

It will provide the necessary support and solutions to achieve investment opportunities and solve the Nusaned initiative's challenges.

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