August 3, 2012

My Take This Week: Egypt, our strategic partner


My Take This Week: Egypt, our strategic partner


ABDULLAH AL ALAMI
ARAB NEWS - Friday 3 August 2012
THE EGYPTIAN community in Saudi Arabia has increased by about 150,000 since the Jan. 25 uprising last year. Also, the amount of remittances from Saudi Arabia to Egypt in 2011 was about $8 billion, accounting for 60 percent of the total remittances from Egyptians abroad. I believe that for various geopolitical reasons, we need to maintain Egypt as Saudi Arabia’s strategic partner in the Middle East.
• Amid strong consumer confidence, is Saudi Arabia’s retail sector heading for a windfall? I suppose we can get there if we aim for a sound economic prospective. We also need to solve issues such as rising inflation, housing shortages, unemployment, and traffic jams.
• I have written many articles about the unjustified and unlimited Russian support of the Syrian regime, and their irresponsible accusations, that distort the true position of the Kingdom. Russia has provided the Syrian regime a license to commit crimes against its own people. In protest to Moscow’s support for Assad’s regime, a prominent Saudi businessman has canceled a number of multi-million dollar oil and gas contracts with around 20 Russian companies; I salute Mubarak Swaikat for his courageous and wise step.
• The Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) has initiated a Taqweem project aimed at providing accurate credit information on small and medium enterprises. The objective here is to help banking and financing institutions extend the required funds to these projects. I believe this is a terrific project. However, I strongly recommend that the Saudi Credit Bureau also launches an intensive awareness campaign to combat fraud and bouncing checks.
• YouGov conducted a survey that revealed Riyadh to have the highest possibility of employment in the Middle East. Doha comes second, followed by Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. However, when it comes to salaries, Doha rated on top of the list followed by Abu Dhabi.
• Since I’m into surveys this week, let me share another one: According to Gulf Business, CEO’s from Saudi Arabia are on top of the money list with an average annual salary of $ 422,280. The survey is based on CEO’s who are responsible for sales of more than $50 million.
• I read an interesting report that new regulations under the Transport Ministry will ban taxis from roaming streets in Saudi Arabia. I like the idea that taxi drivers will wait at dedicated centers for passengers to place phone calls requesting a taxi. We sure need to reduce traffic jams in any way possible.

Tweet: “The Egyptian community in Saudi Arabia made the largest contribution to Egypt’s national economy of any expat community last year.” 
— Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mahmoud Auf

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