Localization program receives a shot in the arm with 178,219 firms expressing support

Saudi men attend a technical education evening class at an electrical workshop as part of a pioneering programme for extending skills, in government efforts to build a more self-reliant economy after the collapse of global oil prices, in Riyadh, in this May 2, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2017
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Localization program receives a shot in the arm with 178,219 firms expressing support

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s program “Support the growth of localization of enterprises” is making great strides, with 178,219 establishments having expressed support.
This was announced recently by Khaled Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, citing the program’s latest statistics.
The ministry spokesman added that the program contributes to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, with an increasing participation by Saudis in the labor market.
Aba Al-Khail added that the program serves all establishments in the private sector, which are active members of the social insurance system administered by the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI).
He said that the social insurance fund contributes a percentage of the monthly social insurance contribution on behalf of the establishments whose number of employees has increased.
He pointed out that the support for employees is directed to the enterprises with the goal of stimulating the employment of Saudi nationals.
He added that the insurance fund also aims to fill the wage gap and cover the costs of placement as well as on-the-job training, among other things.
Aba Al-Khail called on all establishments in the Kingdom to avail themselves of the benefits under the program, adding that those who wish to register may enter the account of the establishment on the GOSI website.
Earlier, many respondents in the Bayt.com “Nationalization in the GCC” poll revealed that the Kingdom has effective localization policies.
A majority of KSA respondents (60 percent) believe their current workplace has effective localization policies, with 37.04 percent believing that the policies are very effective.
Fewer than one in 10 respondents believe localization policies at their place of work are not effective at all.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”