Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

The forum aims to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector, especially the private sector which is being encouraged in line with Vision 2030 to help diversify the economy. (AN photo by Badr Alhamd)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

  • The Pearl Initiative was formed in 2010 by prominent business leaders from across the Gulf region
  • Al-Falih said the forum was an appropriate event to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector

 RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih highlighted “good governance” as a competitive necessity and a benchmark of progress for big or small companies on Wednesday.

Al-Falih was speaking at the Governance in Focus forum co-hosted by Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.

The Pearl Initiative was formed in 2010 by prominent business leaders from across the Gulf region to create a non-profit vehicle for the private sector to take a lead in adopting higher standards in corporate governance, accountability and transparency.

Addressing a packed audience of business leaders, executives, officials and experts, Al-Falih said the forum was an appropriate event to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector, especially the private sector which is being encouraged in line with Vision 2030 to help diversify the economy.

He added that Vision 2030 put great emphasis on encouraging small and medium enterprises as they play a major role in emerging economies and will help contribute to the national transformation program.

The minister pointed out that integrating corporate governance into the strategy has become a competitive necessity as it presents opportunities to manage risks and add value, and that greater transparency with scrutiny and disclosure were key attributes of good corporate governance.

Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said: “In our efforts to achieve Vision 2030 and align ourselves with its aspirations, the Kingdom’s corporations and entities, regardless of size, now have the opportunity to apply or redefine its set of governance at the highest standards, which is vital for the economic transformation currently under way in the Kingdom.”

Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative, said the forum was an initiative with Aramco to shine a light on the various important roles that the government, business and philanthropic sectors need to play in creating corporate governance frameworks that support competitiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability in the region.


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.”