Kingdom in Context: Behind the Commitment, a Tremendous Confidence
What’s so striking about GE’s recent announcement of US$1 billion (SAR 3.75 billion) in investment commitments in Saudi Arabia is not just the large sum.
Rather, it’s the enormous confidence and enthusiasm in the Kingdom – on the part of a global multinational with operations that literally span the globe – that this investment represents.
For those of us with an interest in Saudi Arabia and the wider region, as we look to the future with optimism amidst a time of global and regional change, GE is telling us in no uncertain terms – and backing this by its own financial and human capital – that it sees opportunity and a strong future in this country of 27 million.
With this announcement, GE is looking ahead and is seeing economic growth, development and diversification in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. The investment also is a strong vote of confidence in the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 and related efforts to “further boost the country’s competitiveness and build a knowledge-based economy,” as GE’s Vice Chairman John Rice said during the announcement.
Because this investment is being made entirely via partnerships with local government, academia and industry, it demonstrates a confidence in these institutions – a confidence built over 80 years of collaboration. And perhaps most of all, the investment demonstrates GE’s confidence in the energy, the dynamism and the talents of the people of Saudi Arabia.
It also shows that for GE, the 80 years that it has been engaged with the Kingdom is just the beginning, and that GE is not just talking about its next 80 years. It’s doing and working with Saudi partners to address the country’s toughest challenges.
More specifically, the investment commitments focus on three core areas that are central to the Kingdom’s current development thrust: innovation, healthcare and energy. Along the way, these initiatives will build capacity among Saudi’s young talent in key growth sectors and double GE’s workforce in the Kingdom to more than 2,000 by 2015.
The US$1 billion program sets out specific and measurable goals and is driven by localization, developing the national workforce, and partnership. Specific components include:
- A new GE Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno-Valley to focus on co-creating localized solutions to address the Kingdom’s needs.
- A Ministry of Health partnership to further boost the Kingdom’s healthcare sector competencies through training, technology advancement, and knowledge sharing.
- The first global rollout of a new energy-efficient technology program to enhance heavy fuel-oil conversion to meet Saudi’s growing demand for electricity.
- New and expanded manufacturing facilities in Dammam to serve the energy sector.
- Development of a Saudi-based supply chain that promotes manufacturing in the Kingdom.
Click here to learn more about how GE is moving, curing, building and powering across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.