The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted a business forum recently for U.S. companies to learn about opportunities to partner with Saudi Aramco and invest in the Kingdom.
The forum comes at a pivotal time for the company as it supports the Kingdom’s economic development plans with emphasis on local manufacturing, workforce training and development, and more investment not only in the energy sector but across a variety of industries.
These are the basic principles at the heart of the company’s localization initiative, the In-Kingdom Total Value Add Program (IKTVA), which is designed to drive domestic value creation, develop a strong broad-based local contractor community, and maximize long-term economic growth and diversification to support a rapidly changing Saudi economy.
Now just over the one-year anniversary since IKTVA was launched, the forum provided an opportunity for a two-way dialog between the company and current and potential U.S.-based strategic suppliers. Calling for 70% localization by 2021, the initiative recognizes the importance of supplier focused relationships and collaboration that will help achieve that goal.
Opportunities and IKTVA
Addressing the 150 CEOs, vice presidents, owners, investors, and others who gathered for the event was Aramco Services Co. (ASC) president and CEO Basil Abul-Hamayel, who touched on topics such as Saudi Aramco’s need for supplies, the benefits of partnering with Aramco, and the importance of IKTVA. “In addition to becoming a supplier for Aramco, you have even more options to expand your business in Saudi Arabia and the broader Gulf region,” he said.
Other ASC representatives served as forum panelists including: Saleh AlRumaih, manager of Procurement and Logistics; Sameer Yousef, supervisor of Strategic Sourcing; and Nawaf Al Ardhi, sourcing specialist. Taha Al Shareef, commercial attaché of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Embassy, and representatives from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) also served as panelists.
Yousef outlined the key requirements for becoming an approved supplier for Saudi Aramco and how to register through the ASC website. He also provided further details on the materials most critical to Aramco’s operations right now.
Al Ardhi addressed details and the expanding opportunities for manufacturing in the Kingdom, in support of IKTVA. He highlighted some of the ways in which Aramco is supporting diversification by engaging in joint ventures with strategic partners.
Al Shareef gave a presentation on Saudi Vision 2030, showcasing the Kingdom’s ambitious plan. He talked about “immense opportunities” that not only include oil and gas, but other sectors such as mining, tourism, leisure, retail, and more. He encouraged business leaders to consider investing in these growth areas, as they would benefit from new revenue streams.
Representatives from EXIM Bank rounded out the presentations by addressing ways businesses could obtain financial loans and working capital for expansion into the Kingdom.
“The U.S. Chamber forum provided a great opportunity for Aramco to showcase partnership opportunities, and for the Kingdom, as well, to encourage investment in its economy,” said AlRumaih. “We have seen increased engagement following the forum, and plans are underway for the U.S. chamber to host additional supplier forums next year.”