His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Al Khateeb
SCTH, since its inception has paid special attention to the development of handicraft sector as a promising economic sector that contributes to THE jobs creation, and as an integral part of the General Strategy for the Development of the National Tourism in the Kingdom.
Realizing the importance of developing the essential components of this sector as complimentary to the economic performance, SCTH took the initiative to invite a team from the relevant authorities including, the Ministries of, Finance, Trade and Industry, Economy and Planning, Labor and Social Affairs, including the General organization of technical Education and vocational training (GOTEVT), the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank, in addition to the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, kingdom-wide as the representative of the private sector.
During its meeting with the representatives of the relevant authorities, SCTH put forward the idea of establishing an organization to manage the handicraft sector and the traditional industries to preserve them from extinction, the same time developing the handicrafts in the Kingdom within the framework of a national project.
The strategy, which SCTH prepared in cooperation with the relevant authorities, emphasized the great importance of the handicraft sector and traditional industries as being associated with the interests of citizens, particularly in the area of employment, contributing to the reduction of unemployment and the possibility of working in villages scattered outside the main cities. It further revealed that the Kingdom's annual imports of traditional products from these industries is estimated at SR 1.5 billion which qualifies investment in handicrafts to provide handicraft products locally instead of importing.
The strategy also provided that most of the trades and handicrafts practiced today in the Kingdom have historic compatibility with the cultural dimension of the Kingdom for many decades, and it is poised to be a factor to revive commercial traffic and tourism in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia seeks to develop the handicraft sector in a balanced and sustainable manner, culturally diverse and richer economically.