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Chapter | Education & Training from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

As Saudi Arabia seeks to modernise and diversify its economy by moving away from a reliance on hydrocarbons and identifying opportunities created by rapid technological change, the education sector is increasingly being called upon to reinvent itself. The Ministry of Education (MoE) is the key government agency with overall responsibility for the sector. Over the years, separate departments for higher education and education for women have been merged into the MoE. There is also a range of separate bodies responsible for training, including the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). A programme called Colleges of Excellence operates under the TVTC and is set to deliver a range of technical and vocational partnerships with international institutions.

Chapter | Real Estate & Construction from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

Although growth in Saudi’s real estate sector has softened since 2016, government-led initiatives to increase access to affordable housing, in addition to wider economic diversification plans focused on tourism and industrial output, look set to turn its fortunes around. All eyes have been on the impact of the government’s white land tax on unused plots, which was introduced in 2017, with early signs indicating that this reform is encouraging greater access to land for mixed-use real estate development. Government reforms and funding initiatives in the home loans sector are under way, with the aim of significantly increasing home ownership. However, going forward there are concerns that an oversupply in new real estate developments will drag down sales and rental prices. This chapter contains an interview with Majed Al Hogail, Minister of Housing.

Chapter | Transport from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

The government’s vision is for both domestic and international transport to play a key role in the diversification and modernisation of the economy. The authorities are aiming at making the country a regional and international logistics centre. To achieve this goal, they envisage working closely with leading global logistics companies via public-private partnerships. One aspect of the new approach is the increased promotion of special economic zones in different parts of the country, creating industrial clusters with multi-modal freight links to a range of international destinations. As a result levels of both domestic and foreign investment are rising, particularly with regard to major infrastructure projects. This chapter contains interviews with Nabeel Al Amoudi, Minister of Transport; Rumaih Al Rumaih, President, Public Transport Authority; and Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO, Bahri.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

Like other sectors of the economy, development of Saudi Arabia’s ICT industry is being deeply influenced by the government’s Vision 2030 strategy, which emphasises the need for diversification and modernisation. However, in the context of this roadmap, ICT is not being addressed as a standalone sector, but rather as a fillip to help all other sectors transform through the adoption of digital technologies, cloud computing and e-commerce, among other applications. In 2018 a study to estimate the value of spending on ICT services concluded that it totalled $36.2bn in 2017, up by 4.6% on the previous year. Of that total, telecommunications accounted for almost two-thirds (65%), with the remaining 35% distributed between IT, hardware and software services. This chapter contains interviews with Nasser Al Nasser, CEO, Saudi Telecom Company; Mohammed AlShaibi, CEO, Tamkeen Technologies.

Chapter | Security, Defence & Aerospace from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

As the world’s largest military spender per capita, Saudi Arabia is committed to maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East. It is also examining ways to balance its books by ensuring that a growing percentage of spending is on hardware locally produced within the Kingdom. Vision 2030 aims to localise spending on military equipment from its 2017 level of 2% to more than 50% by 2030. In the 2019 fiscal budget, 27% of spending was earmarked for defence and security, the highest allocation given to any sector. The government is also encouraging the development of advanced manufacturing in the Kingdom, and the aerospace segment in particular is a major target for increased investment. This chapter contains an interview with Andreas Schwer, CEO, Saudi Arabian Military Industries.

Chapter | Industry from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2019

The sweeping changes announced in Vision 2030 aim at giving rise to a reinvigorated and prosperous private sector, driving growth through broad industrial development. By the time the G20 summit convenes in Riyadh in 2020, four years after the Vision 2030 announcements, the country’s leaders will be able to showcase some of the first results of the new agenda, as detailed in the National Transformation Programme (NTP). There are high expectations of the individual reforms, as policymakers work to meet key performance indicators outlined in the NTP’s second iteration, dubbed NTP 2.0. Mega-projects such as the Sadara Petrochemicals Complex are producing raw materials that can spawn new manufacturing plants, while the consumer habits of a growing, young and affluent population are creating fresh markets for innovative service industries. This chapter contains an interview with Khalid Al Salem, Director-General, Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.