Saudi industrial exports reach SR300 billion

JEDDAH — Bandar Al-Khorayef, minister of industry and mineral resources and chairman of the board of directors of the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, said that Saudi Arabia’s exports have reached currently at about SR300 billion.

“Saudi Arabia aims to double the value of exports in the future. The Kingdom currently exports medicines worth nearly SR1 billion and they are well received thanks to their quality,” he said.

The minister made the remarks during an open dialogue hosted by Okaz on Sunday in which several prominent figures, including writers, businessmen and media professionals attended.

According to the minister, the value of investments in the industrial sector amounted to SR1 trillion and in the mining sector, the investments reached SR300 million.

Al-Khorayef said that Saudi Arabia is carrying out studies about the feasibility of starting an automobile industry, with a preference for traditional or electric cars in the future.

“Saudi Arabia can invest in the electric cars sector in light of the remarkable growth of this sector during the recent period,” he said.

The minister said that there has been a qualitative leap in the industrial journey during the last 40 years. He aspires to develop it extensively over the coming period.

“The diversity in the field of industries must be based on sustainable industries, and there are industries built on natural resources such as gas, oil and minerals.”

On the coronavirus pandemic and the extent to which national industries are affected by it, the minister stated that Saudi Arabia is one of the least countries that suffered from a lack of supplies during the pandemic.

Citizens did not have any shortage of food or medicine as there are factories that were established during the Kingdom’s renaissance in the 1970s.

What contributed to the Kingdom’s development was the strong and major industries such as cement, building materials, agriculture and equipment. There are giant local companies whose products have reached other countries.

Alkhorayef revealed that the ministry has four tracks to focus on to achieve its Vision in 2030, the first of which is to preserve the existing gains from industries that have been established and are able to continue the gains, with achieving the highest added value for existing industries.

The second path depends on ambitious plans to have the largest volume of local industries, while the third track is the exploitation of modern technologies as well as benefiting from major industrial resources as much as possible. The minister said fourth track aims to create promising industries for the society.

Alkhorayef said that Saudi Arabia has allocated SR2 billion to carry out geological surveys of the entire Arabian Shield and discover minerals in the region.

“During the next few weeks there will be two projects in this direction aimed at obtaining accurate information about natural resources. Saudi Arabia has abundant mineral resources and when providing information about them to investors, this will be a big boost to the local economy,” he said.

Alkhorayef stressed that Saudi Arabia is one of the distinguished countries in the world in the industrial field. “Maaden has jumped to the 12th position in the world. Today, we have exports from companies to abroad,” he said.

The minister revealed that the number of local factories has reached 5400 so far, and they provide job opportunities for 600,000 workers, of whom 220,000 are Saudis. In the mining sector, there are 1,800 licenses that would contribute to creating 13,000 jobs, he added.




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