Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil-exporting company, on Tuesday announced a major expansion of its Namaat industrial investment programmes, with 55 pacts and preliminary agreements signed across sustainability, digital, industrial, manufacturing and social innovation sectors.
The state oil company's Namaat programme has grown from 32 to 55 investments since last year, Aramco said in a statement.
Namaat, which means “collective growth” in Arabic, aims to tap into the vast opportunities available in Saudi Arabia to create new value and drive economic expansion and diversification.
It supports industrial investment partnerships, helping to create jobs for Saudi citizens while contributing to national growth and capacity building.
“Namaat enables Aramco to be a catalyst for change across the kingdom’s economy, while maintaining our reliability as a global energy supplier at a time of market uncertainty,” said Ahmad Al Saadi, Aramco’s senior vice president of technical services.
“Our collaboration with industry leaders in areas of strategic importance for the kingdom, demonstrates how Aramco is creating national champions that will bring long term benefits to our value chain, our economy and our people.”
Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, has taken various steps to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and boost its economy.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the Saudi economy will expand 7.4 per cent this year, driven by higher oil revenue, a projected improvement in the country's non-oil gross domestic product and its efforts to diversify the economy.
The World Bank estimates that the country's economy will grow 7 per cent this year while Jadwa Investment expects the economy to expand 7.7 per cent.
The latest phase of Namaat’s expansion reflects deeper integration with other programmes that aim to add value and support sustainable growth, Aramco said.
“It also represents significant progress for the programme, with 19 of the 22 [memorandums of understanding] signed last year already reaching fruition, with a total investment of $3.5 billion,” it said.
The programme complements Aramco’s flagship In-Kingdom Total Value Add initiative, which was launched in 2015 to enhance supply chain efficiency through localisation, skills development, knowledge transfer and job creation.
It also intends to enable opportunities for local and international companies and leverage various incentives offered through the government’s Shareek programme and other initiatives.
Last March, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched Shareek to strengthen the partnership between the government and the private sector. The initiative aims to enhance the contribution of local companies towards the country’s economic growth, development and success.
It is part of an investment programme worth 27 trillion Saudi riyals ($7.2tn) over the next 10 years.