Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh landscape at night. (Reuters)
Updated 25 August 2018
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Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

  • Many young Arabs who dream of living and working in Europe are not only interested in earning better incomes
  • To maintain our identity, we need to modernize our work environment

LONDON: Countries across the Middle East are struggling to create diverse opportunities for their youth, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Arab World Competitiveness Report.
However, a number of countries are innovating and creating new solutions to previously existing barriers to competitiveness, the report noted.
Saudi Arabia has committed to significant changes to its economy and society as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, while the UAE has increased equity investment in technology firms from $100 million to $1.7 billion in just two years.
Bahrain is piloting a new flexi-permit for foreign workers to go beyond the usual sponsorship system that has segmented and created inefficiencies in the labor market of most GCC countries.
The report found that, despite huge improvements in infrastructure and technology adoption, government-led investment in the Arab world has not been sufficient to encourage private sector participation on a wide scale.
The WEF report, written in conjunction with the World Bank Group, outlines recommendations for Arab countries to prepare for a new economic context, better education opportunities and increased social mobility.
“We hope that the 2018 Arab World Competitiveness Report will stimulate discussions resulting in government reforms that could unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the region and its youth,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO.
“We must accelerate progress toward an innovation-driven economic model that creates productive jobs and widespread opportunities.”
The report states that the way toward less oil-dependent economies for the Arab region is through robust macroeconomic policies that facilitate investment and trade, promotion of exports, improvements in education and initiatives to increase innovation among firms.


Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

Updated 54 sec ago
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Betty Crocker bakes cake to help Saudi Arabia to break world record

  • The cake was unveiled on Sunday at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah
  • It measured 112 square-meters with approximately 19,600 Betty Crocker mug cakes to make it

JEDDAH: To celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day, a new Guinness World Records title was set today by Betty Crocker for baking the Largest mug cake mosaic in collaboration with Panda Retail Company, the leading grocery retailer in the region.
The cake was unveiled on Sunday at Al-Andalus Mall in Jeddah, measuring 112 square-meters with approximately 19,600 Betty Crocker mug cakes. It took 30 bakers almost 8 hours to create the marvelous cake and decorate it by 1900 Betty Crocker cake frosting tubs that represented the Saudi 88th National Day design on top of it before Guinness World Records adjudicator, Ahmed Jamal Jaber, officially confirmed it as the Largest mug cake mosaic ever.
“We are proud to be able to garner a world record for the 2nd year consecutively, and we would like to congratulate King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and all the people of Saudi on their 88th National Day. The idea of baking the Largest mug cake mosaic marks our appreciation and admiration to the remarkable achievements of the Saudi nation as we are strongly committed to support the dreams and ambitions of the Saudi Youth,” said Ali Shaikh, Commercial Director General Mills in the Middle East.
To conform with Guinness World Records guidelines, the Largest mug cake mosaic had to meet specific requirements set by the organization. The mosaic had to measure 112 square meters or above in order to break the Guinness World Records title. The event was attended by General Mills and Panda executives, as well as by Guinness World Records officials.
After the record was confirmed, the cake was distributed to visitors at Al-Andalus Mall and also was delivered to a non-profit organization “Saudi Food Bank.”