Saudi Arabia has rolled out a new initiative that aims to attract global industrial companies to the kingdom and seeks to shore up 40 billion Saudi riyals ($10.6bn) worth of investments in the first two years of the launch.
Under the Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (GSCRI), launched by the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia will earmark 10bn riyals in financial and non-financial incentives for investors, the ministry of investment said in a statement on Sunday.
“This initiative aims to strengthen the position of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the global economy and to mitigate the impact of global disruptions,” the ministry said.
“The Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative will leverage the kingdom’s resources, infrastructure and location to bring greater resilience to economies and companies across Europe, the Americas and Asia, while further enhancing Saudi Arabia’s position in the global economy.”
The initiative is part of Saudi Arabia's push to become one of top 15 global economies by 2030. Its new global supply chain project comes after the kingdom said last year it plans to invest more than 500bn riyals by 2030 to expand its transport sector as part of a strategy to become a global logistics centre.
Saudi Arabia's National Strategy for Transport and Logistics that was announced last year aims to boost the contribution of the transport and logistics sectors to gross domestic product to 10 per cent by 2030, up from 6 per cent in 2021.
The kingdom's broader vision is to diversify its economy, develop its non-oil sector, create jobs, attract foreign investment and draw high-skilled talent.
Saudi Arabia's new supply chain initiative will “help to enable investors, from all sectors to benefit from the kingdom's resources and capabilities and support and develop these value chains,” the ministry said.
The initiative also aims to help global investors to make use of the country's “untapped potential and form strong relationships with regional and global markets.”
It includes plans for establishing several special economic zones in the “near future”, attracting the regional headquarters of international companies to the Gulf state, the statement added.
“The kingdom is also working to implement regulatory and procedural reforms in various aspects, which in turn, will contribute to further improving the investment environment,” according to the statement.
The move comes after the Covid-19 pandemic, trade disputes and geopolitical tensions have disrupted global supply chains, driving up commodity prices and disrupting manufacturing and distribution.
Through its new initiative, Saudi Arabia seeks to attract 40bn riyals of “quality, industrial and service investments” in global supply chains to the kingdom, the ministry said.
Saudi Arabia offers investors “a resilient economy” — the largest in the Arab world and the fastest growing in the G20 — a strategic location and a source of key raw materials for manufacturing.
“Saudi Arabia also offers access to oil, gas, electricity, renewable energy and human resources at competitive costs,” it added.
Strong digital infrastructure, a young, educated workforce and green initiatives are also part of the country's attractions as an investment hub, it said.
The world's top oil exporter is overseeing the development of blue and green hydrogen production projects, backing its initiatives for the circular carbon economy.