Saudi Arabia: A changing landscape
With one quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves under its territory, Saudi Arabia has long been a major player on the international stage. For the country to achieve its full economic potential, however, the Government recognizes that it needs to create a business environment that enables the realization of this potential through investment and growth.
Increasing urbanization has combined with technological advances and changing demographics to create challenges on a scale that have not previously been seen.
As these issues continue to evolve, Saudi Arabia’s bold ambition for the future, outlined in its Vision 2030 strategy, centers on three main objectives: creating a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.
At the heart of its economic vision are the twin aims of becoming a global investment powerhouse and a commercial hub connecting Asia, Europe and Africa. Indeed, the country’s geographic location at the junction of Europe, Africa and Asia, between key global waterways, makes Saudi Arabia a natural center for trade and commerce.
The country is rich in natural resources, not only oil, but also gold, phosphate, uranium, and many other valuable minerals, not to mention a climate that is ideal for solar and wind energy generation. It was also recently ranked as one of the three safest countries in the world by the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the UN University, thanks in part to ongoing Government investment in areas such as health, security and infrastructure.
To achieve its vision, the Government is placing a greater emphasis on partnering with private sector groups in priority sectors like housing, infrastructure, industry and transport.
Combined with the detailed strategic objectives and multi-sector focus of Vision 2030, this is helping to further strengthen Saudi Arabia’s reputation as an increasingly attractive market for domestic, regional and international investment opportunities in the Middle East.
Against this background, Abdul Latif Jameel has already outlined its plans to invest over US$ 2 billion in the country over the next five years, with US$ 0.5 billion already earmarked for 2016. The investment is expected to create thousands of new jobs across automotive, real estate, logistics and financial services sectors and builds on the SR 1.2 billion investment at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) announced previously.
“These new investments are part of our long-term expansion plans in the Saudi Arabian market, as we work alongside the Government to drive economic growth across a range of industries,” said Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Abdul Latif Jameel.
As Vision 2030 demonstrates, standing still is one thing that Saudi Arabia will definitely not be doing over the next 15 years and Abdul Latif Jameel is ready to play a key part in its progress – a theme which will be explored further in future issues of ‘Opening doors’