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Nahed Taher -- making the quantum leap for Saudi women

RIYADH: Saudi women have been striving to overcome obstacles society places on their path to progress.

One such woman who sets a good example to emulate is Nahed Mohammad Taher, a very experienced economic analyst, reports a local newspaper.

Taher studied economics at the best local and international universities; she obtained a PhD in economics from Lancaster University School of Management.

She worked as senior economist for National Commercial Bank as part of a team of senior managers, the first Saudi woman to work at the main headquarters of a bank amid thousands of men, a position that represented a quantum leap for her own career and for Saudi women.

Soon after she became co-founder and CEO of the Gulf One Investment Bank, an investment bank for financing and infrastructure and alternative energy projects worldwide in compliance with Shariah principles which has its headquarters in Bahrain and operates in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Kuwait.

She said: “My ambition is to see the Saudi economy gain 20 percent per annum in real terms, and the unemployment rate drop to 1 percent. I actually have a special plan for that which makes this achievable.”

She also said that the oil economy in its present situation can create 400,000 jobs during the next four years.

The country badly needs 2 million jobs during this same period, and creating them represents the biggest challenge for the Kingdom, she said.

Taher, a banking and financial expert, confirms that the economic disciplines in the Saudi universities are still on the theoretical side and need more concentration on the application side.

At the same time, she said that the banking sector in the Kingdom is still limited in terms of services offered, which focus mostly on individual and firms’ loans.

“Banks in Saudi Arabia in general are in bad need for further radical transformation in their structures and strategies to serve our country better. For instance, they should offer more mortgages and real estate loans, or other types of loans backed by sustainable assets,” she said.


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