DAVOS: Plans under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to make the Kingdom a hub for global manufacturing, which will transform its industrial base, are well underway, the Saudi industry and minerals minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bandar Alkhorayef said: “We will see more complexity, more advanced products.”
He added: “We will be able to utilize the natural resources that we have, be it oil and gas or minerals, for more advanced productivity, which will add value to the country.”
Alkhorayef said disruption seen over the past few years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, raises challenges but also opportunities for countries such as Saudi Arabia.
“With our great location, access to different markets (and natural resources), as well as our most important asset — our people and our talent — we can be a serious player in attracting investments in manufacturing,” he added.
“We are betting on technology. We believe that technology will allow us to leapfrog into the future, so advanced manufacturing is key.
“Artificial intelligence, 3D printing and so on will allow us to create the right jobs for the future, the jobs we want to see for our children and their children.”
Alkhorayef said the Saudi government’s view is that it should act as an “enabler” for investments in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
He outlined three key ways in which governments can achieve similar results: Ensuring there is a proper regulatory framework for investments; having a solid connectivity infrastructure to create “factories of the future”; and developing human capital by ensuring education and training.
The ambition, Alkhorayef said, is to create a “global citizen” who “would not only have opportunities in Saudi Arabia, but be able to work anywhere else.”