Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi is in the forefront of the breathtaking transformation and massive reforms taking place in the Kingdom under the wise and visionary leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.
Dr. Al-Qasabi has proven his mettle as a keen administrator and negotiator with all the traits of a leader — a legacy that he has inherited from a well-known business family based in Jeddah, the Bride of the Red Sea and the gateway to the Two Holy Mosques.
He has shown qualities as a business leader and statesman, a leader par excellence that was evident when he headed the Saudi negotiation of the World Trade Organization. His vast knowledge as an academic was explicit while serving as assistant professor of King Abdulaziz University and his leadership capacities manifested while serving as secretary general of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dr. Al-Qasabi has been credited to have the opportunity to work with four Saudi crown princes after having been appointed as advisor at the Crown Prince’s court in 2010. He left an indelible mark as a visionary administrator by rendering outstanding contributions while heading at least four ministries in the Kingdom.
At the helm of the ministry of social affairs, his main focus was on further promoting human investment and the development of strategies and legislations pertaining to social affairs as well as fostering noble values of social, charitable and voluntary programs.
While serving as acting minister of municipal and rural affairs, he was instrumental in launching the “Fawri Plus” initiative to issue instant electronic licenses for starting commercial establishments. Currently as minister of commerce, Dr. Al-Qasabi has been steering the ministry toward progress despite a host of global challenges by introducing a number of reforms, including a package of initiatives for digital transformation.
Dr. Al-Qasabi has driven institutional excellence in accordance with the best international standards, as well as the adoption of concepts of innovation and development, and the dedication to achieve goals and strategies related to the Vision 2030.
Recently, the Ministry of Commerce bagged the top honor after being selected as the best ministry from among more than 5,000 Arab government entities that participated in the award. Dr. Al-Qasabi said that the Ministry of Commerce’s winning of the Arab Government Excellence Award is one of the fruits of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
At the helm of the Ministry of Media, he is striving to build a strong and creative media landscape by visualizing its professional future in marketing the bright image of Saudi Arabia outside the Kingdom as well as to consolidate the gains of the nation and aspirations of its citizens.
He identified the value of media as an industry, experience and art that takes advantage of all the potentials and pivotal role of the media in serving the country and its people.
Born in Jeddah in 1959 as the son of a prominent businessman Abdullah Al-Qasabi, he pursued his university education in the United States after receiving secondary school education in the Kingdom. He got his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1981 from the University of Portland.
In 1982, Al-Qasabi obtained a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He holds another master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Engineering Management with honors from the University of Missouri in 1985.
Dr. Al-Qasabi served as assistant professor of Industrial Engineering Department at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) for 11 years from 1987. In 1998, he left KAU to become secretary general of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a role, which he held until 2002. In 2002, he served as director general of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Foundation.
Dr. Al-Qasabi became an advisor at the Crown Prince’s Court in 2010, and president of Special Affairs for Crown Prince Sultan and his two successors between 2011 and 2014. He had been appointed minister of social affairs in January 2015. Within the first 100 days of his appointment, a center for studies and research called NAMA was set up in Riyadh, to follow up on all initiatives carried out by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Dr. Al-Qasabi was appointed as minister of commerce and investment on in May 2016. Leading the ministry, he has been in charge of implementing structural reform in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Accordingly, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the nation’s foreign investment license provider, was built into the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.
In 2016, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises was established, with Al-Qasabi as its head. Under his leadership, Saudi Arabia allowed full ownership to foreign investors in firms belonging to the health and education sectors in the country, as well as the engineering services companies.
Dr. Al-Qasabi was appointed by a royal decree on Feb. 25, 2020 as acting minister of media replacing Turki Al-Shabana in the post. He served as chairman of the Jeddah Economic Forum and supervisor of Jeddah Ghair festival. He holds the posts of chairman or member of the Board of Directors of a number of private and joint-stock companies. He serves as chairman of the Executive Committee for Improving the Performance of Business in the Private Sector.
Dr. Al-Qasabi had also served or is serving as member of the board of directors and board of trustees of several government and private entities as well as a number of Saudi charities. These include Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA); Supreme Council of Saudi Aramco; Council of the Saudi Ports Authority Management; High Commission for the Development of Hail; Saudi Ports Authority Management; the Centennial Fund; Prince Salman Center for Disability Research; Society of Prince Majed for Development and Social Services; Saudi Society for Alzheimer’s Disease; and Saudi Society to Preserve the Heritage.