Saudi Arabia’s determination to be among the world’s 10 most competitive nations by 2010 has just received a significant boost, according to members of the world’s investment community.
The country’s general investment authority, SAGIA, has announced that it is to deploy the customer relationship management (CRM) system for the global investment community. And by enabling the world’s bankers, multinational executives, lawyers, analysts, and government officials to exchange information in real time via the Internet, say sources, SAGIA’s new CRM system will introduce competitive advantage for Saudi Arabia beyond anyone’s imagination.
Powered by SAP technology, the system called Asaleeb – or “methods” in Arabic – will be fully operational by 15 February 2007.
“Our message is simple: Saudi Arabia is serious about attracting and retaining investment, both foreign and domestic,” said Amr Al-Dabbagh, SAGIA’s Governor.
“Continuous improvement is a hallmark of our approach to servicing the investment community. What’s different about the Asaleeb deployment is that it was conceptualized and implemented on such an aggressive timetable. The speed of the implementation was world class.”
In 2006, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) ranked Saudi Arabia 38th among 155 nations in its “Doing Business in 2006” report. That is a remarkable improvement from 67th the year before, but analysts say the move from 38th to among the top 10 will require more than just effort on the part of well-meaning government officials.
“Real and lasting change in Saudi’s competitiveness requires a totally different mindset,” said Mark Fuller, co-founder and Chairman of the Massachusetts-based consulting advisory and financial services firm, the Monitor Group. “SAGIA’s management doesn’t want to be the best in the region; they want to be the best in the world. And they are prepared to take risks and move fast to accomplish their aggressive goals, to include introducing a multimillion dollar technology application.”
“The huge appeal of the Asaleeb offering for the world’s investment community is not just the speed with which it accelerates the pace of mandatory investment procedures. The appeal is the shift in perception among these stakeholders that Saudi Arabia supports their efforts and is willing to introduce ease-of-use initiatives to demonstrate that support. That’s a big shift in mentality for an inward investment authority,” added Fuller.
“We know where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and we are addressing them. Asaleeb strikes directly at the heart of the ease-of-use ranking. We expect to make a quantum leap in the IFC’s 2007 report, and it may even take us into the top 10 depending on the investment community’s uptake of our offering,” said Al-Dabbagh.
“SAGIA will receive all the business benefits and technical support that any other SAP customer enjoys,” said Essam Enany, President of SAP Arabia. “What’s significant is that SAGIA is a public sector entity that measures itself against the best in the world, and so wants the world’s best technology to empower it. SAP is proud to be that technology partner of choice on such a significant CRM initiative.”
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is a service entity aiming to provide services and facilities to promote investment and economic development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SAGIA was established in April 2000 under the directives of the Supreme Economic Council (SEC) as a catalyst to promote inward investments, facilitate exchange of best practice between the public and private sectors, as well as act as an intermediary between the global business community and the Saudi Government and its ministries and agencies. It also aims to contribute to economic policy-making substantiated by research and strategic criteria.
SAGIA's role is complementary and supportive to the bodies directly concerned with the various investment sectors and working to finalize the investors' procedures. The mission of SAGIA is to create a pro-business environment while providing comprehensive services to investors, and fostering investment opportunities in energy, transportation and knowledge-based industries.
The SAGIA logo, name, and any other marks contained herein that reference the Saudi Arabian General investment Authority are the property of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority. All rights reserved.
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