Riyadh chamber to have women on its board of directors

JEDDAH — The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) is to become the third in Saudi Arabia to have women on its board of directors for the first time ever.

By From Our Correspondent

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Published: Mon 4 Aug 2008, 12:07 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:48 AM

Businessmen and businesswomen will contest for 10 seats in the election scheduled on October 15.

The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce Industry already have women on their boards.

According to Wafa’a Al Shaikh, assistant director at the RCCI said that the chamber is preparing businesswomen for the election by conducting a series of workshops explaining the election procedures and the importance of voting. “We have invited 6,000 women to vote for the members they wish to see on the board,” she said, and added that so far no businesswoman has officially nominated herself to participate e in the poll.

According to a report, Saudi women own nearly 70 per cent of bank accounts in the Kingdom with deposits totaling SR100 billion. However, only SR60 billion of this money has been invested. There are also 34,000 trade records registered under the names of Saudi women, who own 20 per cent of private companies in the country.

Despite their achievements in business, Saudi women face obstacles that hinder development. For example, due to the restrictions on unrelated men and women mixing in public places, women need male agents to conduct their business in the governmental circles. Moreover, any business — even if it belongs to a woman — should have a male general manager, regardless of whether the woman practically runs the business or not.

Swiss firm: Meanwhile, the Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel has become the first global logistics provider to operate a wholly-owned national subsidiary in Saudi Arabia. The company can now consistently pursue its strategic objectives in the Kingdom, according to information made available to Khaleej Times here on Wednesday.

Contract logistics, the Group’s third business pillar, will be set up in the course of this year and see considerable investments in 2009.

Kuehne + Nagel Limited is headquartered in Jeddah and operates branches in Riyadh and Dammam, employing a staff of 80.

The company entered Saudi Arabia in 1976 via a 50/50 joint venture with E.A. Juffali & Bros., Orient Transport Company. Following a change in domestic legislation, it acquired the remaining shares from the joint venture partner in 2007. Now, since mid-July, the national company is operating under the global Kuehne + Nagel brand as Kuehne + Nagel Limited.

“The establishment of a wholly-owned national company in Saudi Arabia provides us with significant strategic and operational advantages. Customers can now fully leverage the quality and scope of our globally standardised business and IT processes together with our comprehensive portfolio of forwarding and logistics services,” said Werner Kleymann, regional manager Middle East at Kuehne + Nagel.

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