Saudi Arabia to launch campaign against commercial cover-ups

Commercial cover-ups take place when foreign nationals own businesses using Saudi names
Saudi Arabia to launch campaign against commercial cover-ups
According to the ministry, commercial cover-ups often involve foreign nationals owning businesses while using the names of Saudi nationals.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 07 Feb 2019 11:08 AM

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment plans to launch a national programme to combat commercial cover-ups, Minister Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassibi announced on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, commercial cover-ups often involve foreign nationals owning businesses while using the names of Saudi nationals.

Ten government entities will work with the ministry to implement the programme, including the General Investment Authority, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

Salman Al-Hajjar, an adviser to the minister of trade and investment, was quoted by Arab News as saying that the programme will fight cover-ups “by implementing technical solutions, opening bank accounts for establishments” and “automating all services and payment channels.”

The programme will also conduct public awareness campaigns about the negative economic and social impact of cover-ups.

As part of the programme, various regulations will be reviewed to assess their suitability to meet the economic developments in the country, which may lead to stricter penalties for those found to be committing cover-ups.

Al-Hajjar also said that Saudi citizens will play an important role in the programme, which will rely on them reporting cover-ups.

“This phenomenon is done in secret,” he said. “It isn’t documented…which requires considerable investigation and unified efforts to prove. The citizen has the main role in revealing those violations.”

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