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Chapter | Health & Life Sciences from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

The outlook for the health care sector remains positive despite Saudi Arabia facing a number of challenges in terms of increasing capacity to meet rising demand and a higher incidence of non-communicable diseases, as well as the more recent threat of Covid-19. The government’s efforts to restructure the public sector through decentralisation and digitalisation initiatives are increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Meanwhile, ongoing privatisation and efforts to create a more competitive health care environment are improving care and attracting significant investment. The shift towards public-private partnerships and build-operate-transfer contracts is expected to support private sector activity in the decade to come, while the burgeoning health start-up ecosystem is set to contribute to a greater level of digitalisation. This chapter contains an interview with Hisham bin Saad Aljadhey, CEO, Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Chapter | Education & Training from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Education has long been a key sector in Saudi Arabia and a major recipient of government funding. Recently, focus has shifted to boosting the efficiency and quality of services, while also integrating technology in order to achieve the government’s ambitious goals for the sector as part of Saudi Vision 2030, the country’s economic diversification plan. To this end, the authorities are increasingly turning to the private sector for support, creating new opportunities for foreign investors. The year 2019 saw various international players enter Saudi Arabia’s private general education segment, which is still largely underdeveloped. Opportunities for private sector involvement are not limited to traditional education providers, with the rollout of edtech initiatives opening the door for technology companies to develop innovative new systems to modernise teaching and learning in the country. This chapter contains an interview with Ibraheem Almuaqel, Rector, Saudi Electronic University.

Chapter | Real Estate & Construction from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

With a young population and an increasing number of Saudis entering the workplace, the demand for housing and offices is expected to remain high. As housing preferences evolve, with a move away from extended family homes to those based around nuclear families, appetite for smaller affordable units are set to increase. This will boost construction of residential units and drive continued demand for mortgages. Beyond this, various mega- and giga-projects and large residential housing schemes will drive sector activity. The Kingdom’s growing tourism industry is also expected to be a force in construction planning. As Saudi Arabia prepares for a greater number of visitors due to a new tourist visa, the country will need to analyse its infrastructure requirements, including accommodation and urban transport.

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.

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