RIYADH: As part of the strategy to promote local manufacturing capacity and export, the Saudi Exports Development Authority signed several cooperation agreements with the public and private sector companies at the “Made in Saudi” expo on Sunday in Riyadh.
The event focused on building a framework to provide promising opportunities for establishments, expand the scope of their businesses, promote them locally and globally as the Kingdom looks to enhance its exports to global markets.
Backed by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the event saw around 170 companies participating in the first edition, with several agreements signed between the government agencies and private companies.
The “Made in Saudi” program currently focuses on attracting companies from diverse non-oil sectors, including chemicals and polymers, building materials, and electronics.
“The Saudi product is the most important, dearest, most valuable and worthy of our attention,” said Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the minister of energy, after inaugurating the event.
Touted as “the biggest event to support the industrial sector”, the expo offered a platform to introduce and showcase the quality of national products and services.
Top government organizations to sign cooperation agreements included the Ministry of Culture, King Abdulaziz University, University of Business and Technology, the Prince Sultan Fund and the National Fisheries Development Program.
The private sector was represented by some big names, including Al-Othaim, Al-Tamimi, Panda and Lulu supermarkets, SACO, PepsiCo, Al-Dawaa, Shawermer and KAFADS.
The areas of cooperation agreements spread over multiple sectors as the Kingdom pushes ahead with developing the non-oil sectors as part of the broader economic diversification goals under Vision 2030.
“Made in Saudi is a dream that Vision 2030 was able to turn into a reality,” said Bandar Alkhorayef, Saudi minister of industry and mineral resources.
“This national program will highlight our industrial strength and capabilities in reaching the world and will enhance the attractiveness of the industrial sector for investment and help create job opportunities.”
Launched 11 months ago, the “Made in Saudi” program currently has over 1,300 companies, 6,000 registered products and over 2,000 new firms awaiting to get listed.
Alkhorayef said their goal is to increase local consumption of products and services and “enhance the culture of belonging to the local product.”