Saudi Arabia's crown prince and prime minister, Mohammed bin Salman, on Tuesday issued the National Strategy for Industry to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 in the industrial framework. The strategy focuses on 12 sub-sectors to diversify the Kingdom's industrial economy while identifying more than 800 investment opportunities worth $273 billion.
The Saudi crown prince, who is also chairman of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, said in presenting the new strategy that, through this strategy and in partnership with the private sector, Saudi Arabia will become a leading industrial power that will contribute to securing global supply chains and exporting high-tech products to the world. He added that "we have all the capabilities to achieve a competitive economy and sustainable industrial economy, including ambitious young talents, a distinguished geographical location, rich natural resources and leading national industrial companies".
The strategy hints at achieving an industrial economy that attracts investment, contributes to achieving economic diversification, developing GDP and non-oil exports, in line with the desired goals for Vision 2030. The National Strategy for Industry focuses on investment to constitute a new chapter of sustainable growth for the sector in order to achieve ambitious economic returns for the Kingdom. These returns include multiplying Industrial Domestic Product by three times and doubling the value of industrial exports.
Saudi Arabia aims to increase its annual exports of advanced technology by a factor of six. Doing so would create more than 60,000 high-paying jobs in the process. The Kingdom's overall plan is to create a more competitive and flexible manufacturing sector; to build on the strength of its economy; and to utilise the outstanding raw materials in its leading position. All of this would lead to an increase in investment of $280 billion, generating additional economic benefits.
The industrial sector is one of the pillars of the Saudi Kingdom's Vision 2030 and receives a great deal of attention. The National Logistics and Industrial Development Programme was launched and a separate ministry was established to look after the sector. This has resulted in the doubling of the number of industrial establishments from no more than 7,206 factories in 42 years. Their number increased by more than 50% after the launch of Vision 2030, reaching 10,640 industrial facilities in 2022. The strategy will drive growth in the sector, raising the number of factories to around 36,000 factories by 2035.
The Kingdom has developed a governance model for the industrial sector through the formation of the Supreme Committee for Industry, headed by the crown prince, which will oversee the sector's development. Saudi industry is currently the fourth largest manufacturer of petrochemicals in the world; it also produces a significant amount of supply and manufacturing worldwide. Many leading domestic industrial companies are also involved in the production of many other industries. In addition, many notable domestic industrial companies help place Saudi industry among the most advanced in the world.
The launch of the strategy is in line with global industry trends such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Kingdom's objectives and the competitive advantages represented by its geographical location, abundance of natural resources and energy sources, human capabilities, purchasing power and stable monetary policies, it has been noted.