Aramco acquires 40% stake in GO, marking first entry into Pakistani fuel retail market

Aramco acquires 40% stake in GO, marking first entry into Pakistani fuel retail market
This picture shows Aramco tower at the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh on April 16, 2023. AFP/File
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Updated 30 April 2024
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Aramco acquires 40% stake in GO, marking first entry into Pakistani fuel retail market

Aramco acquires 40% stake in GO, marking first entry into Pakistani fuel retail market
  • Saudi oil giant Aramco inked agreement to buy 40 percent stake in Gas and Oil Pakistan Ltd. in December 2023 
  • Acquisition to bring much-needed foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, says competition commission

KARACHI: The Competition Commission of Pakistan this week approved Saudi oil giant Aramco’s decision to acquire a 40 percent stake in local company Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd, officially marking the Saudi company’s entry into Pakistan’s fuels retail market. 

Aramco and Gas signed the agreement to acquire 40 percent stake in Gas and Oil Pakistan Ltd., a licensed oil marketing company, in December 2023.

Gas and Oil Pakistan Ltd. is involved in the procurement, storage, sale, and marketing of petroleum products and lubricants. It is also one of Pakistan’s largest retail and storage companies.

Aramco is a global integrated energy and chemicals company that produces approximately one in every eight barrels of the world’s oil supply and develops cutting-edge energy technologies.

Aramco Asia Singapore Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean company wholly owned by Saudi Aramco, filed the pre-merger application with the CCP. It specializes in sales, marketing, procurement, logistics, and related services, with a focus on prospecting, exploring, drilling, extracting, processing, manufacturing, refining, and marketing hydrocarbon substances.

“The Competition Commission of Pakistan approved a 40 percent equity stake acquisition in Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd. by Aramco, a global leader in integrated energy and chemicals,” the CCP said in a statement on Monday. “This transaction marks Aramco’s first entry into Pakistan’s fuels retail market, underscoring its confidence in the country’s economic potential and its commitment to its growth.”

The CCP said it had authorized the merger after determining that the acquisition would not result in the acquirers’ “dominance” in the relevant market post-transaction.

“Aramco’s acquisition indicates a significant milestone in Pakistan’s energy sector, bringing advanced expertise and technology to the fuels retail market,” it said. “This development is expected to boost competition, elevate service standards, and provide consumers with a broader range of high-quality products.”

The CCP said the acquisition would help bring much-needed foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, contributing to economic growth and development of the country. 

In February 2019, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia inked investment deals totaling $21 billion during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Islamabad. The agreements included about $10 billion for an Aramco oil refinery and $1 billion for a petrochemical complex at the strategic Gwadar Port in Balochistan.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is in Saudi Arabia for a special meeting of the World Economic Forum, held meetings this week with Saudi Arabia’s ministers of energy, economy and planning, and environment, according to his office.

In a meeting with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Monday evening, Sharif highlighted initiatives undertaken by Pakistan to facilitate investment in the energy sector. The Saudi side showed keen interest in Pakistan’s energy projects highlighted by Sharif, the Prime Minister’s Office said. 

The proposed projects included building new and improving existing energy infrastructure, increasing focus on renewable energy, and bringing efficiency across entire energy ecosystem in Pakistan, according to the statement. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong trade, defense and cultural ties. The Kingdom is home to over 2.7 million Pakistani expatriates and serves as the top source of remittances to the cash-strapped South Asian country.

Both countries have been closely working to increase bilateral trade and investment deals, and the Kingdom recently reaffirmed its commitment to expedite an investment package worth $5 billion.


Saudi industry minister meets with Brazilian companies to discuss vaccine localization

Saudi industry minister meets with Brazilian companies to discuss vaccine localization
Updated 18 sec ago
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Saudi industry minister meets with Brazilian companies to discuss vaccine localization

Saudi industry minister meets with Brazilian companies to discuss vaccine localization

RIYADH: Following meetings between Saudi Arabia’s industry minister and Brazilian companies, the Kingdom aims to boost the localization of vaccines and pharmaceuticals by leveraging Brazil’s expertise.

During his discussions with several investors in the South American nation, Bandar Alkhorayef indicated the scope of the potential collaboration, as the sector plays a large part in the country’s National Industrial Strategy.

This is due to its crucial role in achieving pharmaceutical and health security and enhancing the Kingdom’s independence in this field by securing its medical needs and building specialized industrial capacities.

Saudi Arabia’s Vaccines and Biomedicines Industry Committee, led by Alkhorayef, aims to identify the best technologies for investment. Its goal is to transfer and localize knowledge, building local industrial platforms with international standards to establish the Kingdom as a logistics and industrial powerhouse for vaccines and vital medicines in the Middle East and the Islamic world.

In a release on his X account, the minister said he visited the Butantan Institute, which he deemed the world leader in biotechnology research, adding: “I discussed with the director of the institute ways to enhance cooperation in the localization of the vaccine and pharmaceutical industry."

During his discussions with investors and company heads, Alkhorayef underscored Brazil’s readiness to partner with Saudi Arabia across all targeted industrial sectors, particularly pharmaceuticals and vaccines. 

This collaboration is seen as a strategic move to leverage both nations’ strengths to develop supply chains, enhance technological exchange, and drive innovation for sustainable development.

Alkhorayef announced in June 2022 investment opportunities in the sector worth over SR11 billion ($2.9 billion). Saudi Arabia is keen to attract world-class interest in healthcare by offering financial incentives and leveraging its robust capabilities. The primary objective is to localize 80 to 90 percent of insulin production.

By building strategic partnerships with leading international companies, transferring technology and knowledge, and fostering public-private partnerships, the Kingdom aims to ensure sustainable growth in the healthcare sector. 

The focus on increasing local content and adopting the latest medical technologies underscores the nation’s ambition to become a major regional pharmaceutical manufacturing center.


Saudi Arabia showcases mining opportunities during ministerial visit to Brazil

Saudi Arabia showcases mining opportunities during ministerial visit to Brazil
Updated 36 min 20 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia showcases mining opportunities during ministerial visit to Brazil

Saudi Arabia showcases mining opportunities during ministerial visit to Brazil
  • Minister of industry and mineral resources highlighted the advantages of investing in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has invited Brazilian companies to invest in its mining sector, highlighting substantial growth opportunities during a visit by its top minister to the South American country. 

At a roundtable meeting hosted by the Federation of Industries in Sao Paulo, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar AlKhorayef said that mineral production is a global issue requiring international leadership and collaboration due to its critical role in the global energy transition. 
Saudi Arabia aims to attract international players as its mining sector prepares for expansion under the government’s initiative aligned with Saudi Vision 2030. This effort seeks to enhance licensing transparency, promote national industries, and boost local content development and job creation. 


During the meeting, the minister said: “The Kingdom recognizes that global mineral production challenges require collective leadership. Our strategy for real progress is rooted in collaboration, and while we maintain our ambitious goals, we focus on forging strong partnerships worldwide.” 
He added: “Mineral production transcends economic value; it embodies the potential of our country and people. With our rich resources, skilled workforce, and exceptional investment opportunities, the Kingdom is poised for transformative growth.” 
The minister highlighted the advantages of investing in Saudi Arabia, including its abundant natural resources, skilled workforce, modern infrastructure, and supportive business environment. 
Alkhorayef invited Brazilian companies to attend the fourth edition of the International Mining and Resources Conference, set to take place in Riyadh in January. 

He said that the event has become the most important platform for discussing opportunities, issues, and solutions in the global mining sector, according to a statement from the ministry. 

Through its National Industry Strategy, Saudi Arabia is positioning itself as a leader in various sectors, offering investment opportunities in over 800 projects valued at SR1 trillion ($266.59 billion). This initiative aims to enhance exports, transform the national industrial landscape, and support the country’s economic diversification efforts. 


SAMI to become authorized repair center for C-130 Hercules aircraft, Airbus rotorcraft platforms

SAMI to become authorized repair center for C-130 Hercules aircraft, Airbus rotorcraft platforms
Updated 43 min 52 sec ago
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SAMI to become authorized repair center for C-130 Hercules aircraft, Airbus rotorcraft platforms

SAMI to become authorized repair center for C-130 Hercules aircraft, Airbus rotorcraft platforms

RIYADH: Aerospace and defense firm Saudi Arabian Military Industries will become an authorized center for C-130 Hercules aircraft and Airbus rotorcraft platforms as it extends its maintenance, repair, and overhaul capabilities.

MRO services include the repair and refurbishment of highly engineered components and assemblies, such as cases, rotating life-limited parts, rotating air seals and turbine shrouds, as well as vanes and honeycomb air seals. 

The Public Investment Fund-owned company signed two agreements with major original equipment manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Airbus Helicopters during the Farnborough International Airshow, held in the UK from July 22 to July 26, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The deals fall in line with SAMI’s aim to be among the top 25 defense companies in the world by 2030. It also aligns well with the Kingdom’s goal of strengthening its defense sector, emphasizing localization as a top priority, with Saudi Arabia targeting to domesticate 50 percent of its defense spending by 2030.

“The two partnerships underline our commitment to fostering local capabilities and reiterates our goal to further localizing the defense industry sector,” SAMI’s CEO Walid Abukhaled said. 

Through the first deal, SAMI Al-Salam will be certified as a Lockheed Martin 14-approved C-130 Hercules Service Center worldwide. Through the second agreement, the company will commit to localizing MRO capabilities through Airbus Helicopters to enhance rotorcraft competence. 

The aviation sector in the Kingdom is also experiencing substantial growth, thanks to billion-dollar investments in the Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the economy beyond fossil fuels and promote the private sector.

“We will continue to focus on training and developing national talent through such programs with leading global companies, aiming to support the localization of over 50 percent of government spending in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030,” Abukhaled added.


Lack of freshwater, sanitation hindering human capital development, Saudi minister warns 

Lack of freshwater, sanitation hindering human capital development, Saudi minister warns 
Updated 23 July 2024
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Lack of freshwater, sanitation hindering human capital development, Saudi minister warns 

Lack of freshwater, sanitation hindering human capital development, Saudi minister warns 

RIYADH: Inadequate freshwater and sanitation services are hindering human capital development, warned the Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning at the G20 Development Ministerial Meeting.

Faisal Al-Ibrahim made the comments during the “Ensuring Access to Water and Sanitation” session on the sidelines of the event, which is being held from July 22 to 24 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Water inaccessibility places significant constraints on agriculture, impacting global food security and leading to increased human conflict due to scarcity in resources,” Al-Ibrahim said.

Saudi Arabia has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing global water issues and advancing sustainable solutions. In September 2023, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the establishment of a Riyadh-based global water organization to bolster efforts in tackling water challenges.


Saudi Arabia and Turkiye advance industrial and mining cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Turkiye advance industrial and mining cooperation
Updated 23 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia and Turkiye advance industrial and mining cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Turkiye advance industrial and mining cooperation

RIYADH: ​​Saudi Arabia and Turkiye are working to enhance cooperation in the industrial and mining sectors following recent high-level meetings.

To boost trade and non-oil exports while attracting high-quality investments, the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Industrial Affairs Khalil bin Salamah explored promising investment opportunities and joint industrial capacity building during his official visit to Turkiye.

Accompanied by several Saudi private sector officials, this visit follows up on discussions initiated by the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, during his official visit to the country in August 2023. 

The discussions aimed to enhance joint efforts in the industrial and mining sectors, increase trade and non-oil exports, and attract quality investments in these sectors.

The volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and Turkiye reached $6.8 billion in 2023, while Saudi firms have made an investment of over $2 billion in Turkiye, according to the West Asian country’s Trade Minister Mehmet Mus. 

Turkiye expects bilateral trade with the Kingdom to reach $10 billion in the coming years, the Turkish official said during the Saudi-Turkish Business Forum in Riyadh in March 2023.

As part of this month’s visit, which builds on ongoing efforts to develop industrial partnerships with Turkiye, Salamah met with the President of the Defense Industry Agency Haluk Gorgun and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Turkish Exporters Assembly Gokhan Yuceer, in the presence of the Saudi Ambassador to Turkiye, Fahd bin Asaad Abu Al-Nasr.

The deputy minister also chaired a roundtable meeting between Saudi and Turkish representatives at the Foreign Economic Relations Turkish Board to discuss industrial and commercial cooperation opportunities. The meeting was attended by numerous representatives from Turkish companies, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Salamah’s visit included stops in several Turkish cities, such as Ankara, Eskisehir, and Istanbul. He toured various private sector companies and institutions, including ASELSAN, Roketsan and Turkish Aerospace as well as TEI, TEI Metal, and TEI Alloys, and visited the Middle East Technical University. 

During these visits, he held bilateral meetings to review unique investment opportunities in the industrial and mining sectors and discussed building industrial and knowledge capacities.

In Istanbul, Salamah also met with Saudi students studying in Turkiye in the presence of Faisal Osrs, the cultural attache at the Kingdom’s Embassy in Ankara.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Erdogan received Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Istanbul on an official visit to strengthen bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Turkiye, SPA reported. 

They also discussed regional developments and efforts to ensure stability in the region. The meeting between Prince Faisal and the Turkish president was also attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs Saud Al-Sati, and the Saudi ambassador to Turkiye Fahad Abu Al-Nasr. 

During his visit, Prince Faisal also met with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan, who said in a press conference that Saudi-Turkish relations were witnessing remarkable progress in all political, economic, and security fields.