Gen­eral Elec­tric and king­dom agree $1.4bn plan

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

Gen­eral Elec­tric (GE) yes­ter­day con­firmed it has made a se­ries of deals with Saudi Ara­bia worth over $1.4 bil­lion as part of the king­dom’s am­bi­tious plan to wean it­self off crude oil.

GE said $1 bil­lion worth of projects would be im­ple­mented with the Saudi Ara­bian In­dus­trial In­vest­ments Co, which was formed in 2014 by royal or­der to boost the coun­try’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

An­other $400 mil­lion would go to­ward build­ing a forg­ing and cast­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity for the marine and en­ergy in­dus­try with hopes of it be­ing op­er­a­tions by 2020 and pro­vid­ing more than 2,000 jobs.

In the fu­ture, there’s a pos­si­bil­ity of an­other $2 bil­lion in fur­ther projects as well.

GE’s chair­man and CEO Jef­frey Im­melt said that the project showed the com­pany wanted to ex­pand its long-time pres­ence in Saudi Ara­bia.

“To­gether, we will cre­ate qual­ity jobs for Saudi youth... boost ex­ports, en­hance eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness and sup­port the vi­sion and as­pi­ra­tions of Saudi Ara­bia,” Im­melt said.

The deal comes as part of the king­dom’s Vi­sion 2030 plan to wean it­self off de­pen­dence on oil pro­duc­tion.

The plan, pushed by Deputy Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, the son of King Sal­man, also calls for float­ing a stake in the world’s largest oil com­pany, Saudi Ara­bian Oil Co, and set­ting up one of the world’s big­gest in­vest­ment funds.

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