Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New labor minister to learn by listening

Published: Aug 21, 2010 00:22 Updated: Aug 21, 2010 00:22
JEDDAH: Newly appointed Labor Minister Adel Fakieh, who stepped down this past week from his position as Jeddah mayor, told Arab News on Friday he would spend some time learning and meeting with experts to help him achieve the goals of his ministry.
"I will seek the help of the people with long experience but will listen to everyone," he said. "I will listen to both the employers and the employees."
Fakieh did not elaborate on his immediate tasks, but said tackling unemployment was high on his priority list. He did not claim to have all the solutions but welcomed "constructive" suggestions to address the issue.
Fakieh was appointed labor minister after the death of Ghazi Al-Gosaibi on Aug. 15. Fakieh was replaced by Hani Abu Ras as Jeddah’s mayor. He assumes the post on Saturday. Abu Ras holds a doctorate in industrial engineering. He has been the secretary-general of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) for the past six months. Abu Ras and Fakieh both worked in private sector at The Savola Group, a major Saudi food conglomerate that owns the Azizia Panda regional supermarket chain.
Fakieh had also been chairman of the JCCI, and he recently said he would draw on his experience gained at the chamber of commerce in executing his duties.
"Working with businesspeople and the residents of the city has given me valuable understanding that would assist me in my new duties, which is helping the employers and the employees," he recently told the media.

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