The Business Year

With a young, dynamic population—35% of which is also under 15 years of age—Saudi Arabia has an abundance of budding change agents that are gearing up to remake and remodel the country in their image, from the governmental to indsutrial level. That being said, more than a modicum of leadership is needed, which is where the following players come into account. With huge ambitions, such as making Riyadh among the best-100 cities in the world by 2030, carving out and restoring UNESCO World Heritage sites, making the Tadawul one of the world's most globally active capital markets, realigning the Kingdom's education system for the 21st century, and establishing world-class standards of transparency and accountability, these are less agents of change than custodians of a future, much-stronger political economy that will help propel the Kingdom into the rest of the century and beyond.

Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Governor of Riyadh region & Chairman of High Commission, Development of Arriyadh

Riyadh is the vibrant capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the MENA region. Its strategic location at the heart of Saudi Arabia offers it considerable advantages and access to markets across MENA, Europe, and rapidly developing Africa and Asia. Riyadh today has a population of 6.5 million people. Most are young, with 35% of the total under 15 years of age. Our new generation is among the most educated and technologically savvy people in the region. Riyadh has a vision to be among the best-100 cities in the world by 2030. This vision is ongoing through many planning and strategic initiatives across all sectors. This includes an ambitious strategy for the redevelopment of the historic core of the city (1,500ha) in partnership with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). Furthermore, we are developing major parks and environmental projects such as the prize-winning Wadi Hanifah restoration and the restoration of historic Addiriyah—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—that will help make Riyadh a more liveable city that celebrates its rich heritage and history.

Khalid Abdullah Al Hussan

CEO, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul)

Inclusion in PROMINENT global benchmark indexes, such as MSCI, FTSE Russell, and S&P Dow Jones, is a significant milestone for Tadawul and the Kingdom as a whole. This will result in significant foreign investment inflows, which will further support liquidity in the Saudi capital market, already among the most liquid emerging markets in the world, and diversify opportunities for issuers and investors alike, contributing to greater market maturity and stability. The upgrades indicate growing investor confidence in the Saudi market, reflect the rapid and significant progress in implementation of capital market reforms in line with Vision 2030, and further signify the accessibility of Tadawul to international investors. It is an important step forward in achieving Tadawul’s goals of becoming an active player in global capital markets, both as a source of capital and an investment destination, and of building on its current role as the regional hub leading capital market development in the GCC and wider MENA region.

Husameedin Al Madani

Director General, Husameedin Al Madani

Our main goal is to drive excellence throughout our higher education institutes and help universities continuously improve their performance measured against international standards. Toward this end, we built a new set of accreditation standards that respond to immediate and long-term needs that are outcome rather than process driven. The new accreditation standards are impactful, economic, flexible, and scalable. NCAAA does not yet work as inspection agency, but rather helps universities and faculty to build their capacities and improve their caliber for continuous improvement. We provide training, consultations, and a versatile range of support to all types of universities, from the oldest that were established a half century ago to the middle section created 20-30 years ago and the most newly established ones. Our accreditation standards concern two major domains, namely institutional capacity and educational effectiveness. For NCAAA, education is a major pillar of Vision 2030. It requires a skillful, impactful manpower, which is directly related to education and training, our core business.

Dr. Nabeel bin Mohammed Al-Amudi

Minister, Transport

Adaa has given a new momentum to Saudi Arabia’s march toward a new era of transparency and accountability to achieve Vision 2030’s goal to take the Kingdom to a leading position in every field. As an independent organization, Adaa reports directly to the prime minister. The last few years have been a period of continuous development and improvement during which our operational process has been further streamlined, and Adaa has been equipped with expanded capabilities to achieve its mandate. We are working closely with public entities to measure their progress in implementing the programs and initiatives that help them attain their objectives to create a culture of transparency and accountability in public entities. Adaa is tasked with performing timely and accurate reporting on government performance, and our mandate calls for two primary roles: measuring the performance of public entities in terms of delivering their KPIs and targets, and measuring satisfaction with government services, in which we have been particularly active. We launched our first set of citizen feedback tools in April 2018 for citizens, residents, visitors, and investors.

Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi

Minister, Commerce & Investment

By the end of 2018, our aim is to consolidate all operations in the railway project under one sole entity. This will be possible once a merger between the Saudi Railway Organization, a government organization, and the Saudi Railway Company, a government-owned company, is finalized, ensuring all work is completed efficiently and on time. In 2018, we will also seek participation from the private sector in key segments of the railway, specifically for links between the Dammam-Riyadh and North-South railways. We will also seek participation in the construction of the land bridge to connect the west and east coasts of the Kingdom. As for broader policy changes, Saudi Arabia is undergoing rapid changes and has already begun to make the necessary changes to ensure government operations run smoothly. Take the example of the Saudi Port Authority, which has undergone fundamental paradigm shifts in how it operates, the type of equipment being used, and most importantly, seen the introduction of digital tools to aid workflow processes and procedures.



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