Saudi oil giant Aramco signed over 100 agreements and MoUs worth around $7.2 billion to help advance a diverse, sustainable and globally competitive industrial ecosystem on the opening day of the 7th edition of the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) Forum and Exhibition in Dammam.
The programme achieved 63% local content in 2022, up from 35% in 2015, when iktva was originally launched.
The forum, which runs until February 2, is being held under the theme of ‘Accelerating Future Success’. It highlights collective localization efforts in key focus areas including Digital, Sustainability, Industrial, and Manufacturing.
The major signings include:
*Zoom: Strategic Partnership Agreement
*Taulia Inc: Collaboration to implement supplier financing solutions
*DHL: Intention to enter a definitive agreement to form a joint venture and offer procurement and supply chain services
*Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia: Development and promotion of investment opportunities and the Regional Headquarters Program
*Accenture: System Integration and Digital Solution Services
*Hassana Investment Company: Establishment of a facility management national champion
*Achilles: Development and localization of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) rating services
The first day of the event attracted more than 10,000 visitors and the exhibition space included more than 290 companies.
The event, which was held under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, was also attended by Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The gathering provided a platform for the launch of Aramco Digital Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary which aims to accelerate digital transformation within the kingdom and the Mena region.
Executive Vice President (Technical Services) Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi said: "The local supplier ecosystem is a top priority for Aramco as well as a major contributor to the kingdom’s economy. Through this mega programme we are helping to create a culture of innovation and provide high quality jobs for our growing population."
"The launch of Aramco Digital Company is a great example of such innovation in action, providing state-of-the-art AI and emerging technology expertise in a vital sector of the economy," he stated.
On the opening day of the forum, 13 companies were recognized with 2023 iktva excellence awards. These include:
Best in Overall iktva: (Services): SLB
Best in Overall iktva: (Construction): Nesma & Partners Contracting Ltd.
Best in Overall iktva: (Manufacturing): Siemens Energy
Best in Training & Development: Halliburton
Best in Supplier Development: Baker Hughes Company
Best in Saudization (Services): ARO Drilling
Best in Saudization (Manufacturing): Cameron Al Rushaid Co. Ltd.
Best in Exports (Services): JGC Gulf International Co. Ltd.
Best in Exports (Manufacturing): Jubail Energy Services Company (JESCO)
Best in ESG: Samsung Saudi Arabia Co. Ltd.
Best SME Award: Engineering Corner for Inspection Co. Ltd.
Best SME Award: Saudi Geophysical
Best SME Award: Techno Rubber Company Limited
The iktva programme encourages the establishment of regional headquarters in the kingdom. Since inception, more than 150 investments have been made in kingdom including products manufactured for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
The company has also established 16 national training centers (NTCs) in 10 cities, covering more than 60 trades. To date, they have graduated more than 48,000 Saudi nationals, it added.-TradeArabia News Service