Since almost one-third of our clients are international companies, not to mention my network of contacts in the London financial market gained while living there for over 15 years, I am frequently asked: “Are you coping with all these announcements and developments?” My answer has been: “I am trying.”
Following up his announcement about the Shareek program almost two years ago, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last Wednesday attended the official launch of the first wave of the program with the presence of top Saudi listed companies, led by Saudi Aramco.
Shareek, which means partner, outlined plans for $51 billion of investments by local companies under a government incentive program with the objective to accelerate a plan to diversify its economy away from oil. The program also helps eligible companies accelerate planned projects, and identify new partnerships and investment opportunities with the Saudi government’s support.
Twelve projects within the eight companies received funding after the signing of framework agreements. In addition to Saudi Aramco, other top companies include Saudi Telecom Company, Saudi Arabian Mining Company and ACWA Power.
After receiving funding, STC will implement an EMC cable project, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as a MENA region digital hub and reliable route for data traffic.
The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) will receive funds to accelerate its Phosphate 3 project in Wa’ad Al-Shamal. It is set to position the company as the third-largest global producer of phosphate fertilizers by 2029. This project hopes to enhance the Kingdom’s position in the world’s agricultural value chain, aiding global food security.
ACWA Power, which is listed on the Saudi Tadawul with a global presence and portfolio, will receive funds to construct the world’s largest green hydrogen plant. This plant is being developed in partnership with Neom Green Hydrogen Company and Air Products Qudra. It ties in with Saudi Arabia’s vision to become a green energy leader and supports the Kingdom’s net zero ambitions.
The $51 billion in funding is expected to be spent by these enrolled companies by 2030 to achieve over $124 billion in gross domestic product growth and create over 64,000 local jobs.
For someone who hosted classical music concerts around the world featuring world-class orchestras under our BMG Foundation umbrella, I can vividly see and hear that Shareek enhances the harmony between the public and private sectors to produce the 2030 symphony.
On weekly basis, I shuttle between Jeddah and Riyadh to keep track of official economic announcements, giga-project inaugurations, official delegations’ visits, business, and financial conferences, as well as following up with our Nomu market clients. I meant what I said to my friends: “I am trying.”
• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.