HRH Prince Saud Bin Nayef Al Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, inaugurated the 2017 Iktva SMEs Forum and Exhibition on 12 December.
The event, an annual flagship localisation event organised by Saudi Aramco, is taking place in Dhahran Expo Centre, Saudi Arabia, during 12-14 December 2017.
The forum promoted an agenda designed to raise the bar with a set of over 140 investment opportunities in localisation valued at over $16bn in several industrial and business sectors across the Saudi Arabian energy sector.
In welcome remarks before an audience of over 2,300 delegates from 30 countries, Amin H Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco, highlighted the Iktva programme and the opportunities it offers for a localised supply chain. Nasser said that Iktva aims to deliver a world-class, locally sourced supply chain in the Kingdom with an overarching objective of achieving 70% of locally supplied content by 2021.
Nasser said the two-day forum provides a platform for companies interested in establishing operations in Saudi Arabia to engage with the Kingdom’s energy sector stakeholders and their key suppliers. He highlighted the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in driving value creation and innovation in the localisation process.
Nasser said: “SMEs are the engine of innovation for economic growth and development. They have the agility, the know-how, the market expertise, and the products the oil and gas industry requires.”
“Yet, SMEs currently contribute just 20% to our GDP, which is less than half of industrialised economies. That is why Saudi Vision 2030 recognises the huge potential of SMEs, and has set an initial target of moving their contribution from 20% to 35%,” added Nasser.
The forum agenda was enhanced by a suite of high-level seminars and workshops by Saudi and international business leaders addressing the Kingdom’s future economic growth aspirations as stated in Vision 2030.
The workshops showcased investment opportunities for the localisation of specific equipment or services within the Saudi Arabian energy sector and provided details of the opportunity, anticipated market size, sources of demand and high-level technical requirements needed to close the supply chain gap.
The workshops also allowed investors to interact with key players related to each opportunity through an open question and answer session and one-on-one engagements during and after the session. There were nine workshops with each presenting between seven to ten specific opportunities.
Among the topics covered in the seminars are: Doing business in Saudi Arabia; Mastering innovation, incubators and ready-made factories; Iktva overview for SMEs; Saudi Aramco’s supplier registration process; IR 4.0: Implications for the Saudi energy sector; Investment and funding for SMEs; Digital procurement; and Local workforce development and Saudisation.
The workshops and seminars were attended by executives and experts from several leading energy sector companies from Saudi Arabia and around the world, active in oilfield services, oilfield equipment, chemicals, piping, investment and funding firms, and general manufacturing and related services.
Key Saudi stakeholders were also in attendance, including the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (GASME), Dhahran Techno Valley Corporation (DTVC), Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saline Water Conversation Company (SWCC), Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), and Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF).