Transforming Together: Strong Supply Chains Link Strong Growth
When you look “under the hood” of effective economic and industrial diversification, one of the first things you will see is an extensive, high-value local supply chain.
That’s because making almost any product or piece of equipment requires an elaborate network of raw materials and parts, and the more of them that are locally made, the better. Better, not only because having suppliers close at hand allows for more efficient manufacturing processes and lower costs, but also better for the local economy.
As Saudi Arabia works towards achieving the aims of Saudi Vision 2030, expanding the local supply chain will be a big contributor to the diversification, growth and transformation of the economy.
This week more than 300 business leaders from across the world are in Riyadh for the GE Global Supplier Forum to discuss and explore the significant opportunities for building a high-value supply chain with Saudi Arabia as a strategic international hub.
Under the theme, “Partners for Transformation,” the two-day event brings GE’s global suppliers together with Saudi government officials and local industry leaders to promote collaboration and facilitate efforts by international companies to expand or establish operations in the Kingdom, either through direct investment or via partnerships with Saudi entities.
The forum supports the Saudi Vision 2030 goal to promote international collaboration and strengthen public-private partnerships as part of the Kingdom’s transformational economic and industrial diversification initiatives. This supports a core pillar of the vision to leverage the Kingdom’s “unique strategic location into a global hub connecting three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa.”
The event also presents an opportunity for Saudi suppliers to enter regional and global supply chains.
Supporting the development of business linkages, GE hosted during the event a “Saudi Industry Exchange” networking session between Saudi government officials and international business executives, providing an opportunity for the visitors to meet representatives of prominent Saudi companies and organizations.
Dedicated “desks” were set up by teams from Saudi government and business entities who engaged with international and local suppliers. The followed organizations took part: Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Energy, National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), Royal Commission Yanbu, Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF).
Senior GE leaders hosted the forum, included John Rice, GE Vice Chairman, Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa & Turkey (MENAT), Rami Qasem, President & CEO, GE Oil & Gas MENAT andHisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. As well, Saudi government and business leaders participated in three panel discussions that provided context and set the stage for the core objectives of the event. The first panel, “Saudi Arabia Vision 2030: Growth, Diversification and Transformation of the Economydiscussed the key pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 and ongoing development plans.
The second panel, called “Building Saudi Arabia’s Industrial and Manufacturing Supply Chain Ecosystem,” reviewed the core components needed to build a local industrial ecosystem – including qualified talent, training of Saudi nationals, cutting-edge technologies such as digital industrial, and the creation of a high-value local supply chain. The third panel on “Deep Diving into Saudi Arabia’s Industrial Sectors: Support, Opportunities & Challenges” provided insights for businesses new to the Kingdom or expanding in areas such as financing and staffing.
The Global Supplier Forum comes less than two weeks after GE announced a series of major partnership agreements with a number of leading Saudi companies in support of Saudi Vision 2030.
Through these initiatives, announced during GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s visit to Saudi Arabia, GE will work to create more than 4,000 new and high-value jobs for Saudis, provide training to 1,000 Saudi women in industrial fields, help establish Saudi Arabia as a global manufacturing and digital industrial hub, support the introduction of new industries into the Kingdom, foster a robust SME supply chain, drive exports, and boost productivity and efficiency across the energy, aviation, healthcare and digital sectors.
GE has a long and deeply rooted history in Saudi Arabia, extending back more than 80 years. Working with government and private sector partners, GE has supported the Kingdom’s development in aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, power, transportation and water.