13 20 23 24 26 28 30 37 46 47 49 50 51 54 59 60 61 63 67 75 77 78 79 81 Moving forward: Strong foundations support continued growth Viewpoint: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Interview: Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor, Riyadh Region, and Chairman, Arriyadh Development Authority Interview: Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Secretary-General, OPEC Looking east: Trade with Asia is diversifying Fast friends: A deepening of GCC-Asia relations is on the horizon A stable supply: Drivers and change in GCC-Africa investment Forward thinking: Pursuing the twin goals of diversification and a knowledge economy Interview: Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud, President, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Breathing room: Low debt and ample fiscal reserves provide insulation from market forces Interview: Mofarrej Al Haqbani, Minister of Labour Interview: Ibrahim Al Hunaishel, Director-General, Saudi Credit and Savings Bank The long game: New development plan shows clear commitment to education and the private sector Strength in numbers: Incentives bolster attractiveness for investors Interview: Abdullatif Al Othman, Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Interview: Yoon Sang-Jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea Export potential: Work to encourage growth of non-oil sales abroad is ongoing Enhancing competitiveness: State policies aim to improve the business environment A position of strength: Growth continues as banks diversify their revenues and the sector shifts towards increased use of technology Record levels: With remittances continuing to grow, banks are tapping into the market for money transfer services Interview: Fahad Al Mubarak, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Interview: Bernd van Linder, Managing Director, Saudi Hollandi Bank Funding the gap: Growing interest in SME loans Interview: Patrice Couvegnes, Managing Director, Banque Saudi Fransi 82 84 86 93 94 95 96 97 98 101 106 108 110 113 118 119 122 126 132 134 136 141 142 143 Legislative change: The new mortgage law A holistic approach: Establishing a more stable lending environment through the introduction of new consumer protection regulations A broader base: Regulatory changes are opening the door for foreign participation Return to the bond market: The Kingdom taps capital markets to provide additional coverage for the 2015 budget deficit Going public: A raft of IPOs signal recovery Interview: Mohammed Al Jadaan, Chairman, Capital Market Authority Interview: Adel Al Ghamdi, CEO, Saudi Stock Exchange Foreign interest: The exchange is poised to benefit from international investment Interview: John Sfakianakis, Middle East Director, Ashmore Group Entering a new phase: A growing role for the private sector has brought new opportunities Entrepreneurial environment: State efforts signal encouragement for private initiatives Added interest: Foreign private equity is playing a growing role in the local market A clearer framework: Corporate governance guidelines change for family-owned businesses Catching up fast: After a tough year, the industry has bounced back strongly Interview: Ali Al Ayed, General Director, Insurance Control Department, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency A flexible alternative: The cooperative model for takaful offers distinct advantages Challenges and opportunities: New protocols and regulations can help domestic insurers compete for upcoming mega-projects In focus: Major investments are set to benefit both residents and pilgrims Welcoming the world: Islam’s holiest mosque is being expanded to accommodate an increasing number of pilgrims Thinking ahead: Makkah has plans to expand its water, wastewater and sewerage networks A wealth of developments: Projects in the pipeline are set to boost the city’s profile Interview: Mazen Batterjee, Vice-Chairman, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry On the heritage trail: World Heritage status is prompting rapid tourism sector growth Spreading out: Rising demand is being met through large-scale developments 147 155 157 159 161 165 170 171 173 179 189 190 191 195 197 199 201 204 210 211 213 214 219 226 227 In the spotlight: The fall in oil prices brings fresh attention to the world’s largest oil exporter Diversifying production: The Kingdom invests in a range of upstream and downstream areas Variety on tap: From refining to associated gas, the Kingdom’s product offerings are thriving Breaking new ground: Research has led to a range of alternative technologies and solutions No cuts: OPEC’s largest producer keeps on pumping oil Smart moves: Increasing private participation in efforts towards a more sustainable energy mix Interview: Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric Enhanced efficiency: Considering new technology for cogeneration facilities World leader: Expanding desalination capacity Expansion ahead: Ongoing development of six economic cities, with a focus on non-oil growth Interview: Mohammed Al Kathiri, Secretary-General, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Interview: Mohanud Helal, Secretary-General, Economic Cities Authority Aiding diversification: Key players are investing further down the petrochemicals value chain A third pillar: The state looks to mining and processing to complement hydrocarbons Ready to go: Attracting foreign investment with purpose-built industrial cities Enhancing food security: Local companies invest in agricultural infrastructure abroad High in value, low in intensity: Focus shifts to organic farming and less water-intensive crops A maturing market: High investment levels and an emphasis on developing local defence firms Interview: Prince Turki AlFaisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies On the front lines: Enhancing the Kingdom’s cybersecurity readiness Interview: Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister, Saudi Arabian National Guard Positive impact: The offset programme brings multiple benefits to local firms Finding their calling: Companies are innovating in a challenging market Interview: Khalid Biyari, Group CEO, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Breaking boundaries: Businesses are beginning to merge IT and telecoms provision 229 235 238 243 249 258 259 261 262 264 266 269 275 276 278 286 288 290 292 300 304 307 313 316 317 319 Special services: Large players and small start-ups alike compete for business Cloud atlas: Off-site data storage to get easier Ready for take-off: Demographic and economic factors signal a market ripe for expansion Interview: Khalid Al Sehaibany, General Manager, Hamat Property Group High impact: Major projects across land, air and sea transform the sector Interview: Abdullah Al Mogbel, Minister of Transport Paving the way: Government investment in the sector drives growth Interview: Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al Hamdan, President, General Authority of Civil Aviation Bulking up: The Kingdom’s ports are expanding to compete internationally New networks: Investing in metro systems Just the ticket: Advanced ticketing technology for the capital’s new public transport network Recycling resources: Seeking to reduce energy waste and environmental impact Restoration efforts: Bio-mediation projects Water from waste: Efforts to reuse urban wastewater for irrigation are under way Building across the board: Expanding population and a rise in tourism boost demand Striking a balance: Programmes to support both developers and buyers Finding finance: New trusts and funding vehicles aid property investment Shaping space: Rethinking the building model to meet housing demand Solid foundations: The sector remains competitive despite changes in the global marketplace The bottom line: Oversupply of building materials is causing cost fluctuations Adjusting expectations: New labour laws are forcing contractors to tighten budgets A top priority: Expanding offerings at all levels Spend away: Government education allocation focuses on new universities and schools Interview: Azzam Al Dakhil, Minister of Education Tech drive: Adopting new technology to enable student learning Interview: Ali Al Ghafis, Governor, Technical and Vocational Corporation (TVTC) 320 321 324 325 329 340 341 343 345 349 355 356 361 368 371 376 378 380 381 386 388 Interview: Abdullah Al Mosa, CEO, Saudi Electronic University (SEU) New chapter: A variety of programmes will supply the market with a trained workforce Interview: Badran Al Omar, Rector, King Saud University Wider horizons: The King Abdullah Scholarship Programme funds thousands of students to complete their studies abroad Game plan: Investment continues to rise as the government addresses long-term challenges Interview: Saleh Al Tamimi, CEO, King Saud Medical City Keeping it local: The market share of local pharmaceuticals manufacturers has increased Going digital: Efforts to digitise services under the government’s e-health initiative Those who can: Medical education and training investment to aid workforce Saudiisation Stable growth: While expanding hotel capacity, the Kingdom is developing niche segments in partnership with the private sector Planning for the future: Tourism authorities look to new regulations to improve standards and build capacity Untapped potential: Investors hope new destinations will help grow the domestic market PwC Maintaining stability: The tax system and regulations for potential investors Viewpoint: Jacques Fakhoury, KSA Country Leader, PwC Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in Association with Latham & Watkins Supporting role: The legal framework has evolved alongside economic needs Air of authority: Improvements to corporate governance and disclosure standards Agreeing to disagree: Dispute resolution and enforcement of foreign judgements and arbitral awards At the oasis: What is it like to live in Saudi Arabia as an expatriate? A good night’s rest: Hotels in Riyadh, Al Khobar, Jeddah, Jubail Listings: Telephone numbers for ministries, embassies, hospitals, airlines, couriers, banks and more Facts for visitors: Useful information for business and leisure travellers Page 147 Saudi Arabia has increased oil production levels in 2015, despite a dramatic fall in prices over the last year, indicating a move away from its former role as a “swing producer” to the global market. In response to the price drop, newly restructured Saudi Aramco is seeking to secure short- and long-term profitability by increasing natural gas output and refining production.
Page 292 The drop in the price of oil from mid-2014 on has cast doubt over what was forecast to be a period of unparalleled growth for the construction sector, and some predict the government’s 2016 budget will rein in its expansive development agenda. However, past fiscal caution and ongoing energy and transport projects provide a solid base for growth going forward.
Page 249 With an expected $190bn to be spent by 2025, transport infrastructure is set for a major overhaul. The bulk of this will be spent on land transport, including public transport networks for the five largest cities and three inter-city rail lines to cross the country from north to south and coast to coast. Further expansion will see air- and seaport capacity boosted.
Page 307 Spending on education has remained high, with a focus on adopting new technology to enable student-centred learning. The creation of a knowledge economy is the third stated objective of the Kingdom’s 10th Development Plan, with the number of universities increasing from 20 to 34 since 2009.
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