RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 blueprint will have a profound impact beyond the Kingdom as it improves connectivity between continents and enhances international trade, said a top official.
Speaking at an event organized at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center on Tuesday, Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, said that the Kingdom had witnessed several monumental changes in its economy since the launch of Vision 2030.
“Vision 2030 impacts are not limited to Saudi Arabia. Becoming an industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub will open new possibilities for products and markets. It will also improve connectivity between continents and enhance international trade. Therefore, we continue to invite the international community to be part of our journey,” said Al-Mazroua.
He added: “Since Vision 2030 was launched, we started to enjoy the fruits of it across all aspects of our lives. Foreign direct investments in Saudi Arabia doubled. Private sector contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product) doubled.”
Highlighting the growth of Saudi Arabia in the transport sector, Al-Mazroua revealed that Saudi Arabia had jumped 17 places in the Logistics Performance Index released by the World Bank last April.
The index showed Saudi Arabia reaching the 38th spot, excelling in performance efficiency through several sub-indicators, including logistics competence, tracking, timeliness, customs, infrastructure and international shipments indices.
According to Al-Mazroua, Saudi Arabia’s National Logistics Strategy, launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021, is one of the key drivers behind this growth.
The strategy aims to position the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three continents and improve all transportation services while improving the capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s air cargo sector by doubling its capacity to more than 4.5 million tons by 2030.
“The customs used to take 288 hours, and now it takes two hours. We are among the best when it comes to processing, both in and out of the country,” said Al-Mazroua.
According to the NIDLP CEO, technology is one of the most crucial enablers of the goals outlined in Vision 2030.
“When we look at the future, we know technology is our friend. We will have smart mines, supplying smart factories connected to smart industrial cities powered by smart grids, and move goods and people through smart logistics. Connecting the smart is the new smart,” he said.
Al-Mazroua added: “Having the right data will help us to predict the future and improvise clean energy generation. Look at the history; the semiconductor challenge the world faced a few months ago. When we look at the data, it was predicted. If we had the right data at that time, we would predict this issue and solve it.”
Al-Mazroua continued that NIDLP, with its various initiatives, is always trying to minimize the risk and maximize the returns for investors.
“In NIDLP, we are always investor-centric. We cater to both international and local investors through the fundamentals of risk and return. We try our best to minimize the risk and maximize the return for the investors,” said Al-Mazroua.
He further noted that NIDLP is committed to maximizing the returns of the investors sustainably. It is enabling regulations, creating digital infrastructure, ensuring the availability of resources, opening world-class research and development centers and providing access to local and international markets.
The program is also keen on protecting the environment, facilitating global energy transition and creating a transport and logistics sector built for the long term, which is crucial to achieving these sustainable goals.
Last year, during an interview with Arab News, Al-Mazroua opined that Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector needs a considerable investment combined between the government and private sector by the end of this decade to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub.
He added that the Kingdom would provide the right environment and regulations to attract world transportation companies which would help Saudi Arabia emerge as one of the world’s busiest logistics centers.