JEDDAH: Up to 60 new factories each employing 30 workers are to be set up on the outskirts of a Saudi city as part of a major new job-creation initiative.
The plan to establish the environment-friendly manufacturing plants in 30 districts of Jeddah, was announced by Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) official Ibrahim Batterjee.
The project aims to open two eco-factories in each of the districts producing products such as fabrics, jewelry, perfume and food.
Batterjee, head of the JCCI’s industrial committee, said the move was designed to reduce pressure on industrial cities and provide jobs that were easy to access for women.
The scheme will be launched in cooperation with the Saudi government’s industrial property agency Modon, and Jeddah municipality.
Olfat Qabbani, an investor in the industrial sector, hailed the initiative as a positive move. She said there was a need to encourage young people to start their own factory operations and overcome the stereotype that only high-profile businesspeople can do it.
The initiative was announced during a session titled “The Expectations of Industrial Sector Leaders” at the JCCI’s 75th anniversary celebrations in Jeddah.
Speakers at the event raised various challenges including manpower and fuel prices, and said more effort was needed to meet the expectations of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan while also diversifying the economy away from the petrochemical sector.
They also noted that Modon and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund both offered support to the industrial sector.
Investment company chairman, Abdulaziz Al-Surai, highlighted the opportunities open to young entrepreneurs working in the Saudi industrial sector, to export products to other countries in the region. He said “Made in KSA” was a well-respected and trusted trademark around the world.