Duration: 1 hour
EuroCham’s 𝐇uman 𝐑esources, 𝐆𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 & 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐬 met with Minister of Labour and Vocational Training 𝐇.𝐄. 𝐇𝐄𝐍𝐆 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐫 and his staff last Thursday to discuss labour conditions and capacity building in the Kingdom.
✔️ Speaking on behalf of the HR Committee, Chairman 𝐂𝐇𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐕 𝐍𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐡 discussed the need for digitising employment contracts, improving apprenticeships, and better managing overtime limits. Good working conditions are increasingly prioritized by investors, he said, and FDI could grow with improved working conditions.
✔️ Garment & Manufacturing Committee Chairman 𝐄𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐝 𝐀𝐌 advocated for finding ways to deter sexual harassment in the workplace, improving public transport for factory workers, and prioritizing sustainable data sharing. He noted that $89 million in productivity is lost each year as a result of sexual harassment and 5,100 road accidents involving factory workers were reported last year.
✔️ Agribusiness Committee Vice-Chairman 𝐑𝐚𝐣𝐢𝐯 𝐏𝐑𝐀𝐃𝐇𝐀𝐍 discussed the need for improving employment conditions in the agricultural sector and pushing for more sustainable production in the industry.
✔️ EuroCham Secretary General 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐅𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐄 supported the idea of the chamber being more involved in policy drafting at earlier stages, to ensure that private sector concerns are voiced before a draft law or prakas is finalized.
𝐇.𝐄. 𝐇𝐄𝐍𝐆 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐫 expressed a strong willingness to work together on several of these issues and said it was a priority to further intergrate with the regional economy as the country aims to remain competitive despite losing its LDC status in the coming years. He said there was no time to waste in attracting investment from investors looking to diversify and that a core building block would be educating and guiding the workforce on compliance issues.
His Excellency added that the labour law should be improved to recognize the growth of freelancers and service providers in the country and that apprenticeship programmes could be bolstered to provide better training to new graduates and create more benefits for employers. Lastly, the need to disseminate information on rules and regulations in English to the international community was discussed as a method for improving transparency and building investor confidence.