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Top event aims to attract US investments into Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, August 17, 2016

Saudi Arabia will seek partnerships with US firms to raise its competitiveness and productivity across several industries during a major investment event to be hosted in Los Angeles, California, later this month.

The sectors targeted for investments include downstream petrochemicals, mining and mineral resources, and local manufacturing.

The kingdom's ambitious plans were detailed in the recently released National Transformation Program 2020 and will yield significant opportunities for US businesses, said a statement.

The US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) is hosting the conference and luncheon programme titled ‘Localisation, Innovation, and Partnership Opportunities for Industrial Development in Saudi Arabia’, on August 25, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

The event will introduce product manufacturers and service providers to opportunities for sales, technical tie-ups, joint venture and investment in Saudi Arabia's expanding industrial and manufacturing base.

The conference will feature Eng Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources. Other high-level senior Saudi Arabian officials included Prince Abdullah Bin Faisal, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US; Prince Saud Bin Khalid, acting governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; Prince Dr Turki Bin Saud, president, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology; Dr Alaa Nassif, CEO, Royal Commission at Yanbu; Eng Khalid Al-Mudaifer, president and CEO, Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden); Abdulrahman Al Fageeh, executive vice president, Polymers, Sabic.

The programme will also bring together senior leaders from US corporations such as The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric Company, Fluor Corporation, Jacobs Engineering, and ExxonMobil, among others.

Saudi Arabia is currently investing heavily in its industrial infrastructure and seeking to diversify its economic base away from heavy dependence on crude oil sales.

The downstream industry is a key part of the kingdom's plans to attract international investors and grow existing companies to create jobs and diversify the Saudi economy.

Areas of focus for future investment include specialty chemicals, plastics, elastomers, automotive, and fast moving consumer products. Despite challenges posed by the fall of oil prices in 2014-2016, the downstream petrochemicals and plastics industry continues to attract investment.

Development of the mining industry is also a strategic objective of the National Transformation Program 2020; the sector has grown significantly with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden reporting total investment of $26.8 billion. Saudi Arabia has commercially significant reserves of gold, bauxite, phosphate, and at least 15 industrial minerals that are assessed as being economically feasible for extraction.

The Kingdom's growing construction industry is driving demand for Saudi iron, limestone, feldspar, silica, gypsum, and marble for use as building materials.

Ma'aden has leveraged this demand through major partnerships with foreign companies such as Alcoa ($10.8 billion integrated aluminium project) and Barrick Gold Corporation (copper mine joint venture).

Edward Burton, president and CEO of USSABC, said: “For US firms, Saudi Arabia's competitive package of land, utility and infrastructure services coupled with its access to Middle Eastern, European, Asian and African markets make it a destination that any serious industry investor with long-term aspirations in the region needs to look at very closely."

The conference is designed to create a platform for senior business people and government representatives from both countries to review specific commercial and investment opportunities and network with potential business partners, it added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | | US investments |

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