RIYADH: A number of investment deals and initiatives to promote local content in the Kingdom’s public and private sectors were revealed on the first day of the Local Content Forum in Riyadh.
Here are the key announcements made by participants of the forum.
Local content enabler for industries
“Local content is a concept that would definitely be an enabler for the industry. It would be an enabler for existing installations, to come up with new capacities to improve their performance in sales and profitability,” said Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef.
He added that the proportion of local content reached 46 percent of the total spending among companies in the Kingdom for the year 2020 with an estimated value of SR113 billion ($30 billion).
Government spending on domestic economy
Saudi Arabia is investing SR91 billion to develop the domestic economy as the Kingdom steadily progresses to achieve its goals outlined in Vision 2030, according to Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
While speaking at the Local Content Forum in Riyadh on Sept. 5, Al-Fadhli noted that local content must be sustainable and scalable.
Saudi Mining Co.
Saudi Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, is expected to contribute over SR88 billion to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product and create more than 47,000 jobs by 2040, according to a top official.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Local Content Forum, Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden, said that out of the projected SR88 billion, SR33 billion will come from local content alone.
Saudi Arabia is working to localize 18 professions over the next year, Saudi Transport Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said.
While speaking at the forum, Al-Jasser revealed that the transportation sector of the Kingdom is working to increase the proportion of Saudi nationals in all its services.
“The transportation system is working to increase the proportion of localization in all its services. We are close to the percentage of full localization for the profession of co-pilot, and soon the full localization of pilots will be achieved,” said Al-Jasser.
Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add project has contributed more than SR488 million to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product since its launch in 2015, a top official said.
The iktva program aims to grow a localized manufacturing sector and increase Saudi Arabia's global competitiveness.
While speaking at the Forum in Riyadh Majid Al-Mohammed, supervisor of iktva’s Action Plan and Support, said the program is an extension of Saudi Aramco’s efforts to localize and develop local content.
The first day of the forum witnessed the signing of ten agreements, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Seven of these agreements were signed by the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority with other bodies including the Transport General Authority, the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization, the Saudi Railway Co., Pfizer, the National Unified Procurement Co., Nesma Holding Co. and Shomoul Holding Co.
The forum continued its activities on Tuesday, by holding three dialogue sessions, reviewing five successful experiences, and five workshops.
The forum aims to review national achievements and initiatives in developing local content, in addition to strengthening strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors.
It also reviews investment opportunities that would develop domestic content in various local sectors.