Head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki opened in Riyadh today a seminar on 'Problems facing small and medium businesses' organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) in cooperation with the Institute of Public Administration and the Arab Organization for Administrative Development. Under discussion are the challenges facing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such as admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Customs Union. Chairman of RCCI Abdulrahman Al-Jaraisy highlighted the great attention being given by the Saudi government to smaller businesses, and urged them to take advantage of the expertise offered by specialists, either local or Arab, in order to solve their problems.
Prince Abdullah commented that although small and medium businesses constitute 90 percent of all the Kingdom's companies, they employ only about two percent of the total Saudi manpower. Moreover, their contribution to domestic industrial production is less than 14 percent, and their share of exports only 8 percent. It is high time, he said, to give greater attention to these business in order to enable them perform satisfactorily, pointing out that they provide good opportunities for investment, while playing an important role in creating jobs for nationals, and that SAGIA has prepared a suitable environment for investment and for attracting foreign investors.