Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.
Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was exactly 23 months ago today that I spoke at the opening ceremony of the last IKTVA Forum and Exhibition.
Much has happened since then – including probably more virtual meetings than most of us ever imagined we would attend in our lifetimes!
As such, it is a tremendous pleasure to welcome you in person to IKTVA 2022.
Let me begin by stating the obvious…
First, IKTVA is a great success.
Since the program was launched in 2015, local content in Aramco’s supply chain has increased from 35% to almost 60% at the last count. Creating a more efficient, a more reliable, and stronger supply chain for the Company.
Second, IKTVA is also proving to be a winning proposition – not just for Aramco, but for all involved.
For the many local and international participants, IKTVA is creating new and expanded business and investment opportunities in the Kingdom, including opportunities beyond petroleum.
To date, IKTVA investments have attracted an estimated capex of $7 billion.
This in turn is helping create a competitive industrial base in the Kingdom that is now exporting to more than 40 countries.
For our local communities, IKTVA is delivering value in the form of career opportunities and training options for Saudis.
Again, the numbers speak for themselves…
IKTVA-related employment of Saudis has increased by 50%, meaning one out of every four people working in Aramco’s supply chain is now a Saudi. The percentage of females working in our supply chain has also increased, more than doubling.
Meanwhile, the establishment of National Training Centers has already resulted in some 33,000 Saudis graduating with new skills.
And these centers are on track to produce tens of thousands of more trainees for the local labor market by 2030.
For our country as a whole, IKTVA is providing a number of broad benefits, with achievements including, but not limited to improving in-Kingdom capabilities – with everything from drilling chemicals to non-metallic rebar – now being manufactured here for the first time.
A great example of an IKTVA-driven achievement is the establishment of a hub to pioneer new technologies and services in the non-metallic industry, which is expected to contribute an estimated $10 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2030.
Indeed, IKTVA is providing a catalyst for innovation within the Kingdom, with Aramco suppliers having, so far, quadrupled their R&D spend in the Kingdom, from $21 million to $91 million.
IKTVA is also contributing to the development of anchor projects like the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services and the King Salman Energy Park.
Simply put, IKTVA is resulting in a rise in both the volume and the variety of products that are now ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’.
Indeed, the localization of goods and services through IKTVA is creating an ecosystem that is delivering critical support to the Kingdom’s industrialization efforts.
This in turn is helping our country meet many other goals outlined by Vision 2030.
Now, as you know, Vision 2030 is crucial to our nation’s long-term prosperity and sustainable development.
Announced in 2016, by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Vision 2030 provides a unique roadmap to our future.
A roadmap that is transforming the Kingdom’s economy. Making it more dynamic by creating multiple economic engines in addition to our already strong energy sector.
Some of the key goals under Vision 2030 include economic diversification, industrialization and employment creation.
All of this and more is being achieved by following an integrated approach with a parallel focus on both conventional and emerging business sectors.
The conventional sector, in which the Kingdom holds world-class strategic advantages, includes energy as well as chemicals and mining. Meanwhile, the emerging sector includes exciting Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, along with logistics, industry and services.
Clearly, the Kingdom’s industrialization is an important part of the Vision 2030.
What is also clear is that IKTVA is serving to support not only Vision 2030, but also the world’s energy security.
Indeed, having a reliable and efficient supply chain is critical for a company like Aramco and absolutely vital for all economies, including the Kingdom.
In fact, it is hard to imagine any economy today being successful without access to dependable suppliers.
And as the world has seen firsthand, any disruption along any supply chain can have a negative domino effect.
Fortunately, we have IKTVA contributing to the Kingdom’s resilience.
And we continue to pursue ways to make increased localization even more attractive going forward. One recent example is the creation of Aramco Namaat, which is enabling our partners to leverage a range of opportunities and incentives through the Kingdom’s Shareek program.
In closing, I want to congratulate all the participants in IKTVA – whether they are local companies or global corporations – for the many achievements to date.
I also want to say thank you, as IKTVA since its inception has contributed an estimated $100 billion into Saudi Arabia’s economy.
Last and most importantly, I want to encourage all of you to use this year’s IKTVA as a springboard to expand your operations even further. And to take advantage of the many investment options being created by Vision 2030, by IKTVA, by programs like Shareek.
There has never been a better time to do even more business here in the Kingdom.
The invitation to all of you is open.
The opportunities out there are enormous.
The possibilities available are many.
And the potential benefits to you and your companies are great.
On that note, let me wish you all a highly productive conference.
Thank you for joining us. And thank you for continuing to make IKTVA a tremendous success story.