SAGIA Urges SMEs to Register for SFG 100

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 19, 2011 --( The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Kingdom to participate in its "Saudi Fast Growth 100" (SFG 100) initiative. Companies that make it to the annual SFG 100 list are honored at the annual Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) every year.

SAGIA’s call comes in the run-up to the Sixth GCF, which will be held in Riyadh from January 21 to 24, 2012. The SFG 100 initiative, which was launched in 2008, has won the support of the Kingdom’s rapidly growing SME sector. The deadline for companies to apply for this year’s ranking has been extended till January 1, 2012.

SFG 100 also enjoys the wider support of the larger private sector companies who have been SAGIA’s supporting partners in implementing the program. SAGIA, with its partners in the project, has been holding a series of lectures and workshops in Saudi cities to present and explain the SFG concept and goals, and how it supports participating companies.

PwC, one of the world’s largest providers of assurance, tax and business consulting services, is SAGIA’s “Knowledge Partner” for SFG 100 in 2011. Yassar Jarrar, PwC Partner, has described SFG 100 as an important initiative that will support the growth of the SME sector. Addressing a SAGIA workshop recently, he said SFG 100 plays an important role in Saudi Arabia’s economic growth.

Jarrar noted that the partnership with PwC provides analytical and knowledge services to SFG 100, including the design of the awards methodology, processing nominations and producing research to assist in the dissemination of lessons about entrepreneurship and fast growing companies for the benefit of the whole Saudi private sector.

According to published reports, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a rapid increase in the establishment of new SMEs during the past few years. One Saudi national newspaper said SMEs represent around 90 percent of the total number of companies in the Kingdom.

The process of joining the initiative is well structured and closely monitored, Ms. Haifa Al-Sherif, President of SFG 100, said. There is a solid process put in place to provide companies with clear guidelines on eligibility to apply for the awards. The organizing committee reviews the financial reports provided by companies in order to evaluate their eligibility to participate. The top 100 best performing companies will be selected on from a further evaluation of all accepted applications.

Companies will have a chance to attend a number of orientation workshops organized by SAGIA to create awareness about the process of applying to be part of SFG 100. Winning companies enjoy a number of privileges including the extension of logistic facilities to develop and expand their businesses and to attract foreign investors who are looking for local partnerships.

Eyad Samman, President of one of the companies that won the award last year, said that he managed to open a new branch for his company with SAGIA’s help. He said his company also benefited in several other ways which helped its growth. He recently attended the attended a workshop titled Creativity in business leadership," organized by SAGIA in partnership with PwC. The event was one of the networking opportunities that was offered to him.

Ms. Al-Sherif urged companies to make use of the opportunity and join the initiative to compete for this year’s awards. She confirmed that the application deadline has been extended until January 1, 2012 to allow more time for the companies to participate. The information on the initiative.

About SAGIA:
SAGIA, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, was established in 2000 as part of the new foreign investment law in Saudi Arabia. SAGIA supervises the attraction of foreign investment into the country, and manages Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness agenda in an effort to improve the country’s business environment. As a result of the efforts of SAGIA’s National Competitiveness Council, and the Saudi Government as a whole, Saudi Arabia is now considered the 8th largest recipient of FDI with inflows of 35 Billion USD in 2009, 11th Easiest Place to Do Business according to the World Bank-IFC’s Doing Business Report, and the 21st most competitive country in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
Said Hasanieh
May Bin Dayel

Alef International:
Ibtihal AlSamaraie