Focus KSA: “Saudi Labor in Transition” – Webinar – Wednesday

Published: May 12, 2014

Share Article

Logo Focus KSA 300

SUSTG & SUSRIS Invite you to our


WEDNESDAY MAY 14, 2014 — 10-11:00 a.m. EDT

 “Saudi Labor in Transition”

Online, Interactive Webinar

Attend live or access anytime after. Registration prior to the event is required.

People Saudi students labor


Amr Khashoggi, VP Group Affairs, Zahid Group

John Sfakianakis, Chief Investment Strategist, Masic, Riyadh

Nathan Field, Co-Founder, Industry Arabic


Richard Wilson, President, Saudi-US Trade Group (SUSTG)

Patrick Ryan, Editor-in-Chief,

Logo register button

Limited Audience Size


People Amr KhashoggiAMR KHASHOGGI —  VP Group Affairs, Zahid Group – Saudi, graduated from Yale University School of Management, Connecticut, USA with an MBA in 1979, and Menlo College, California, USA with a B. Sc. in 1977. VP Corporate Affairs, Zahid Group which has 14 subsidiaries offering products and services for the construction, mining, oil and gas, agricultural, transport and finance sectors. Chairman of Group Machiels Middle East Africa which specializes in landfill management and waste recycling. Chairman & CEO of Amkest group, a holding company with interests in building materials manufacturing & services, packaging of food, hygienic and medical products, provider of e-business and IT services & solutions, through its subsidiary, ArabWeb International. Chairman and Partner of Global Gypsum Company Ltd (3G), a joint venture between a distinguished group of Saudi investors and Lafarge Gypsum International, a French company and the 3rd largest producer of Gypsum in the World. 3G launched a SR 50 million Gypsum Powder plant in Yanbu Industrial City, Saudi Arabia mid 2007. The plant was inaugurated by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz September 2005. Board Member of Khashoggi Holding Group.

People John SfakianakisJOHN SFAKIANAKIS — Chief Investment Strategist, MASIC — He is the Chief Investment Strategist of MASIC, an eighty year-old investment company based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and he’s a member of the firm’s investment committee. Being one of the oldest family firms in Saudi Arabia, its interests vary from finance, banking, real estate, petrochemicals, energy, aqua-culture, public and private equities. Previously he served as the Chief Economic Advisor to the Saudi Minister of Finance. He also held various banking posts including, Group General Manager and Chief Economist of Banque Saudi Fransi and Chief Economist, Middle East North Africa region for Credit Agricole C.I.B. He was the Chief Economist of The Saudi British Bank (SABB/HSBC) in Riyadh and also worked for Samba Financial Group as its Chief Regional Economist. He also worked as an advisor at the Ministry of Economy and Planning in Saudi Arabia.

Nathan-Field2NATHAN FIELD — Nathan Field is the co-founder of Industry Arabic, a language services company that provides translation and interpretation to public and private sector organizations working in the Middle East and is a regular commentator on Gulf politics for various international media outlets. Previously he spent several years in the Kingdom working on consulting projects with the Saudi government including the $1 Billion Gulf War environmental remediation program.

Presented by the Saudi-US Trade Group ( &

Logo SUSTG 200
The Saudi-US Relations Information Service (

Logo SUSRIS 300

Logo Focus KSA 300

The international news cycle has moved on from President Obama’s visit to Riyadh in late March. The surge of commentary surrounding his trip tended toward hand-wringing about the status of the US-Saudi Arabia relationship and the tension between American and Saudi perspectives regarding Iran, Syria and Egypt.

More extended analysis noted that these three issues represent just the short list of Saudi Arabia’s regional concerns.  A fuller accounting includes the dangers inherent in the crumbling state of affairs in Yemen and Iraq, spillover from the Syrian crisis to Jordan and Lebanon, sectarian strife in Bahrain, the challenge of the Muslim Brotherhood and the fractious GCC itself.

Each issue presents complex strategic and security challenges that Saudi Arabia is working to ‘get right’ in order to preserve economic, political and social stability at home.

However, with regard to preserving economic, political and social stability at home, none of these external issues may be as important for Saudi Arabia to ‘get right’ as the issue of jobs.

Focus KSA presents Saudi Labor in Transition: What are the Challenges facing the Kingdom?

  • Just under 50% of Saudi Arabia’s population is younger than 25 years old.
  • Saudi men and women are graduating from high school and college in record numbers.
  • A quarter of Saudi Arabia’s last three annual budgets has been devoted to education and training.
  • The number of foreign laborers has been reduced by over 1 million in the last 12 months.
  • The King Abdullah Scholarship Program is underwriting close to 150,000 Saudis studying abroad (75,000 in the United States)
  • Strict guidelines and penalties have been put in place to promote the hiring of Saudis (Nitaqat)
  • Minimum wage levels have been established in both the private and public sectors.

Saudi Arabia is attempting to respond simultaneously to its demographic youth bulge, restructure its private-sector labor market, diversify its economy, revamp its educational system to produce more employable graduates AND evolve Saudi work habits.

How is it doing?

Logo Focus KSA 300

What are some of the issues to be tackled in this important topic? They may include:

  • Aligning employers with employees
  • Private learning centers, belonging to employers, and their effectiveness in preparing professional and effective cadres for the Saudi private sector
  • Academies, such as Ministry of Labor Academy, to prepare public servants in becoming more efficient at carrying out their duties
  • Mentoring programs in the work place — private or public sector
  • The role of women in the work place — how it has grown and changed
  • Creating job opportunities for persons with disability
  • Starting to prepare knowledge workers in schools
  • How to develop SMEs in the creation of jobs and reducing unemployment
  • The role of entrepreneurs and funding them through incubator and accelerator funds
  • Internship programs during and after graduation for students abroad on scholarships — utilizing for example, Saudi-American Joint Ventures, where students can train for a year or two after graduation with the US partners and guaranteeing them jobs with the Saudi partner
  • The role of the media — positive and negative — in creating awareness and not adding to the chasm between employers and job seekers
  • Creating positive awareness and job matching through fairs, conferences, and forums
  • Partnering with International Speciality houses in creating jobs for Saudis in terms of best practice


Logo Focus KSA 300