IKTVA: Saudi Arabia to create localization body for energy sector, minister says

IKTVA: Saudi Arabia to create localization body for energy sector, minister says
(IKTVA)
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Updated 24 January 2022

IKTVA: Saudi Arabia to create localization body for energy sector, minister says

IKTVA: Saudi Arabia to create localization body for energy sector, minister says
  • The three-day forum is being held at the Dhahran Expo Center in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province

The In-Kingdom Total Value Add, or IKTVA, has kicked off on Monday in Dhahran, highlighting the oil giant’s role in boosting local opportunities in Saudi Arabia. 

The three-day forum, held at the Dhahran Expo Center in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, will feature opportunities for businesses who are “committed to boosting local content within the Saudi energy economy.”

Read more: Saudi Aramco balances competing priorities as IKTVA enters 6th year

Launched in 2015, the IKTVA program set out Aramco’s drive to increase domestic value creation as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious economic transformation objectives.

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“The most important measurement of success is the impact that IKTVA is having on people’s lives; creating jobs, encouraging learning, expanding career options, and enhancing the Saudi business environment,” according to the event’s website. 

The event ends on Jan. 26.

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7:42 GMT — Aramco has signed seven agreements with international companies to boost localization of supply chain.

The companies include Schlumberger, Larsen and Toubro, Sutherland, Honeywell, and alfanar.

Read more: Oil giant Aramco signs 50 agreements during 6th iktva forum

7:42 GMT — Aramco chairman and the governor of the Public Investment Fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan said local content in Aramco’s supply chain has increased from 35 percent to almost 60 percent since the IKTVA program was launched in 2015.

“For the many local and international participants, IKTVA is creating new and expanded business and investment opportunities in the Kingdom, including opportunities beyond petroleum,” he added.

The program has also helped Aramco boost its Saudization efforts, increasing employment of locals to 50 percent, or one of every four employee in the oil giant.

The rate of female employment in Aramco’s supply chain has more than doubled as well, the chairman said.

7:28 GMT — Saudi Arabia will establish a localization committee for the energy sector “soon,” the Kingdom’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the forum.

He said this committee will ensure a smooth implementation of efforts to achieve the Kingdom’s localization goal.

7:04 GMT — Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser opened the event with a keynote speech on the importance of IKTVA, especially amid the global energy transition. 

He said oil and gas will remain essential despite the global energy transition, highlighting a “lack of investments” in the sector that already led to signs of energy crisis in some parts of the world. 

“And to ‘walk the talk’ of words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘reliability’ and ‘responsibility’ – you have to back that up with investment,” he added.

2022 iktva award winners:

Highest overall iktva performance

  • Services sector: Schlumberger Middle East
  • Construction sector: C.A.T International
  • Manufacturing sector: Alkhorayef Petroleum

Best in training and development                                 

  • Halliburton

Best in supplier development                                         

  • Baker Hughes

Best in Saudization

  • Manufacturing sector: ArcelorMittal
  • Services sector: Arabian Drilling Company

Best in female employment                                             

  • Tamimi Global

Best in exports

  • Manufacturing sector: Al-Babtain Power and Telecommunication
  • Services sector: Saudi Aramco Nabors Drilling

Saudi tourism ministry signs deals to boost localization program

 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism signs two agreements. (Twitter/@Saudi_MT)
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism signs two agreements. (Twitter/@Saudi_MT)
Updated 11 sec ago

Saudi tourism ministry signs deals to boost localization program

 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism signs two agreements. (Twitter/@Saudi_MT)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism has signed two agreements to enhance joint cooperation and support training and localization programs to qualify those wishing to work in the hospitality sector.
The move, which aims to support workers in the food, beverage and accommodation sectors, in support of achieving the Kingdom’s’ tourism human capacity development strategy.
Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Safir, director general of training and localization at the ministry, stressed that these two agreements aim to develop human resources in the tourism sector through quality training programs that will contribute to developing localized skills in the tourism sector.
Under the two agreements, which were signed with Kempinski Al-Othman Hotel and Carlton Al-Moaibed Hotel, the ministry will support dualifying Saudi nationals in the tourism sector within the “Your Future has Arrived” initiative.


Venture capital and microfinance firms should focus on startups, says Al Ahli Holding Group CEO

Venture capital and microfinance firms should focus on startups, says Al Ahli Holding Group CEO
Updated 19 May 2022

Venture capital and microfinance firms should focus on startups, says Al Ahli Holding Group CEO

Venture capital and microfinance firms should focus on startups, says Al Ahli Holding Group CEO

DUBAI: Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group, said that startup businesses are an excellent opportunity for investment in venture capital funds and microfinance banks.

During an interview with Arab News at the Top CEO event in Dubai, Khammas Mohamed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group, highlighted that startups are a good investment idea because the “ticket size is smaller, and the product ranges are higher.”

Khammas pointed out the risks that arise for startups are not in their early stages but rather when they become successful.

“The challenge is not when they’re trying to have a major impact on the economy; the problems occur when they become successful. All of those are calculated risks,” he said.

Khammas continued to add that regardless of these risks, investing in new, innovative startups is “absolutely the best opportunity.”

Also, during his talk at the event, Khammas  urged banks to fund new and innovative products and ideas in the area after he shed light on how banks are hesitant to invest in creative ideas.


Futurist says ‘virtual economies are already worth $130bn'

Futurist says ‘virtual economies are already worth $130bn'
Updated 19 May 2022

Futurist says ‘virtual economies are already worth $130bn'

Futurist says ‘virtual economies are already worth $130bn'
  • Investing in video games more rewarding than Metaverse: Raford

DUBAI: Even though the business world is increasingly fascinated by the Metaverse, Noah Raford, futurist-in-chief and chief of Global Affairs at Dubai Future Foundation, claimed games, Web3 and virtual economies is where the smart money is.

While speaking at the Top CEO event in Dubai, Raford argued that people should invest in video games, as it is the only successful digital economy so far.
In a statement to Arab News a day after the event, he said: “The metaverse has extraordinary potential and Dubai is moving rapidly to take advantage of it. Virtual assets and digital economies are a huge growth area. There is a lot of hype and wasted investment, but the best examples at the moment are video games and in-game virtual economies – especially connected to NFTs & Web3.”
Fady Kassatly, partner of Enterprise Solutions and Cloud, KPMG, said the Metaverse is nothing but the next evolution, which will make people live differently.

He also added the Metaverse is going to evolve quickly in different directions, and this is just the beginning of the journey.

On his part, Philippe Blanchard, founder of Futurous, stated the Metaverse will change the relationship between humans and nature.

Predicting an inevitable Metaverse future, Valerie Hawley, director of Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence, said every business will look at the Metaverse space and consider using it in the coming years.

She also added the Metaverse is a projection of the world that humans would like to live in.


Egypt’s central bank, citing inflation, hikes interest rates 200 bps

Egypt’s central bank, citing inflation, hikes interest rates 200 bps
Updated 19 May 2022

Egypt’s central bank, citing inflation, hikes interest rates 200 bps

Egypt’s central bank, citing inflation, hikes interest rates 200 bps

CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt on Thursday raised its overnight interest rates by 200 basis points, seeking to contain inflation expectations after prices soared by their quickest in three years.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee increased the deposit rate to 11.25 percent from 9.25 percent and the lending rate to 12.25 percent from 10.25 percent, it said in a statement accompanying the decision.

It cited an increase in annual urban inflation to 13.1 percent in April from 10.5 percent in March, its highest since May 2019.

Prices were pushed up in part by a currency depreciation and higher wheat prices after the Ukraine crisis, the statement added.

“The MPC decided that raising policy rates is necessary to contain inflationary pressures which is consistent with achieving price stability over the medium term,” it said.

“The elevated annual headline inflation rate will be temporarily tolerated relative to the CBE’s pre-announced target” of between 5 percent and 9 percent before declining after the fourth quarter, it said.

Eighteen analysts polled by Reuters had expected the bank to raise the median deposit rate to 11 percent and its lending rate to 12.25 percent.


Eight injured in S. Korea’s S-Oil Ulsan refinery

Eight injured in S. Korea’s S-Oil Ulsan refinery
Updated 19 May 2022

Eight injured in S. Korea’s S-Oil Ulsan refinery

Eight injured in S. Korea’s S-Oil Ulsan refinery
  • Aramco Overseas Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is S-Oil’s major shareholder

RIYADH: At least eight workers were injured in an explosion at an S-Oil refinery in Ulsan on Thursday, reported The Korean Herald.

Aramco Overseas Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is S-Oil’s major shareholder. According to the local media, firefighters were notified of an explosion at the S-Oil refinery at 8:52 p.m. The facility is situated some 400 km southeast of Seoul.

The injured workers were shifted to a nearby hospital. The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined. The Korean Herald quoted fire authorities as saying “the accident occurred inside S-Oil’s refinery at Onsan industrial park while crude oil was being processed into petroleum.”

The injured workers who were transferred to the hospital are being treated for second-degree burns to the face and the palms, according to authorities. S-Oil is the third-largest oil refiner in Korea.

The firefighters at the refinery appeared to be having trouble fighting the blaze, according to local reports.