Saudi Arabia to invest $24bn to boost domestic economy ‘content’: Minister

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to localize 18 professions over the next year, as the Kingdom steadily progresses in its efforts to create more jobs in line with Vision 2030, according to Saudi Transport Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.

While speaking at the Local Content Forum in Riyadh on Monday, Al-Jasser revealed that the transportation sector of the Kingdom is working to increase the proportion of Saudi nationals in all its services.

“The transportation system is working to increase the proportion of localization in all its services. We are close to the percentage of full localization for the profession of co-pilot, and soon the full localization of pilots will be achieved,” said Al-Jasser.

While speaking at the event, Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih said that the Kingdom has a broader and more comprehensive strategy, which will help differentiate between localization and local content.

“Local content is one of the regulatory and legislative tools that different countries use within certain limits to achieve broader strategies and policies for settlement,” said Al-Falih.

According to Al-Falih, the Kingdom could achieve localization and increase the local content with the help of foreign investors.

He, however, added that focusing on and exaggerating local content may harm the efficiency of the country to attract foreign investments.

According to the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority website, the aim of promoting local content “is to preserve the largest possible amount of money spent on purchases inside the Kingdom by the target groups, whether governmental or private agencies or even members of the community.”

During the event, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef said the goals outlined under Saudi Vision 2030 require a unique business model.

“The goals outlined in the Vision 2030 cannot be achieved using traditional methods, and the vitality of local content comes into the picture at this juncture,” Alkhorayef noted.

“This concept represents a comprehensive umbrella under which several elements fall, starting from the product to services, personnel, training and technology,” added the minister.

Alkhorayef further noted that local content could help maximize the economic impact of the Kingdom’s industries, services, and natural resources.

He pointed out that the Saudi government’s Local Content Coordination Council is working to elevate the private sector’s contribution to the local content.

The minister said steps are being taken to strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector to enhance its “participation in the development of local content.” 

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