Writing about the plans of Isuzu to open up a manufacturing/assembly plant for pick-up trucks in Saudi Arabia, Saleh Al-Turaiqi comes up with an even better idea. In his Okaz article, translated in Saudi Gazette, he notes that while “Made in Saudi Arabia” is a fine thing to see on a vehicle, it would be even better to see the label read, “Made in Saudi Arabia by Saudis”. He’s right.
He suggests that the plant employ only Saudis, from the day it opens its doors. I think that is do-able. It might be a little rough at first, as workers apply the skills they’ve ostensibly learned in technical school, but it can be done. If the company (and its Saudi sponsors) looks for the cheapest way of doing business, i.e., hiring low-salary foreign workers, then the boost to the Saudi economy is going to be more limited.
Is there any more delight to kill frustrations?
Saleh Ibrahim Al-Turaiqi | Okaz newspaper
It is delightful to hear that Japanese automobile company Isuzu’s first plant in Dammam’s Second Industrial City assembled a truck carrying the logo “Made in Saudi Arabia.” This is similar to the case of the American and Japanese branded vehicles coming with the logo “Made in Australia.”
This joy turns to a degree of cheerfulness when you read the plant’s strategy, which says the company will strive to increase productive capacity and export 25,000 trucks per annum by 2017.
Now, let us forget about the legendary Ghazal-1, the first car made in the Kingdom. From the very beginning, it appeared as if it was a failed experiment because most of the countries sign agreements with international companies to open their plants in their own homeland to create more job opportunities in addition to facilitating a further boost to their economy.
In order to complete my delight, I believe the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Higher Education must draft a strategy to ensure that all workers at this factory will be Saudis by 2017. Perhaps the severity of frustrations that lead to despair could then be alleviated.