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Chapter | Transport from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a shadow of uncertainty over parts of the global transport sector – particularly aviation – beyond those immediate issues, Saudi Arabia’s transport network is positioned to play an increasingly important role in the economy in the years ahead. Improving the Kingdom’s logistics and transport infrastructure is a central goal of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme, with early wins in speeding up the movement of cargo through seaports demonstrating a coordinated, multi-agency effort to make significant improvements. With new roads and bridges to Bahrain and Egypt planned, Saudi Arabia is also displaying its intention to leverage its location to serve as a transport hub, connecting countries and continents in the region. This chapter contains interviews with Saad bin Abdulaziz Al Khalb, President, Saudi Ports Authority; and Bashar Al Malik, CEO, Saudi Railway Company.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

The ICT sector is at the forefront of the digital transformation outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and is poised to be a key element of diversifying the economy towards greater non-oil growth. In the last few years ICT has become much more prominent, and it has become increasingly dynamic as the country ramps up investment in technology to become an international leader in the digital economy. At the same time, further expansion will be needed going forwards to meet demand for digital services. To that end, citizens, businesses and the government are actively pursuing greater adoption and capacity development, and this trend is anticipated to continue in light of the youthful population and expanding non-oil sectors. This chapter contains an interview with Prince Naif bin Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer, Chairman, Zain Saudi Arabia.

Chapter | Security, Aerospace & Defence from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Saudi Arabia is in the midst of restructuring the defence sector and expanding its military industry to ensure more value can be brought to the national economy. The realisation of Vision 2030 requires the development of new high-value-added industries, and the security, aerospace and defence sector stands to become a key element of this strategy. Central to the achievement of these diversification and localisation goals is the development of an advanced domestic industrial and research capacity that generates sustainable employment. Ongoing efforts to foster international partnerships and attract investment will prove vital in this endeavour. Moving forwards, key priorities will continue to be the advanced protection of both the country’s airspace and cyberspace from threats, while ensuring that defence spending delivers the highest returns.

Chapter | Industry from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Industry is widely regarded as a promising area for business growth that can provide additional private sector employment for citizens in the decades ahead. The sector is embarking on an agenda based on Industry 4.0, a more efficient and educated workforce, and investment and skills transfer from the private sector to support industrial clusters, expand mining operations and further leverage petrochemicals activity. The industrial sector is guided by the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme. This chapter contains interviews with Bandar Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources; Ibrahim Almojel, CEO, Saudi Industrial Development Fund; and Khalid Al Salem, Director-General, Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.

Chapter | Utilities from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

The government is moving at pace to expand energy and water output to meet growing demand from businesses and individual consumers. Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plans to upgrade its utilities networks, while aligning more closely to market prices, make the Kingdom an increasingly attractive proposition for investors. There is an established framework for private participation and a track record of government will to increase the role played by the private sector in the Kingdom’s transformation towards cleaner and renewable sources of energy, according to targets outlined in Vision 2030. This chapter contains interviews with Mohammed Al Mowkley, CEO, National Water Company; and Khaled Al Qureshi, CEO, Saudi Water Partnership Company.

Chapter | Energy from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Saudi Arabia’s energy sector remains the backbone of the economy. As of March 2020 energy operations were facing the twin challenges of low oil prices and sluggish demand as economies around the world ground to a halt following the outbreak of Covid-19. However, the fundamentals underpinning the Kingdom’s energy sector remain strong. The size of its endowment, the comparatively low cost of recovery and opportunities to tap into new natural gas fields all suggest that the country’s energy sector will be a valuable source of competitively priced fuel when the world’s industrial economies start up again.

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