Pri­vate sec­tor growth picks up pace

Firms in a di­verse range of in­dus­tries are em­brac­ing the aims of Vi­sion 2030

Newsweek International - - SAUDI ARABIA -

One of the core in­gre­di­ents of the king­dom’s long-term strate­gic de­vel­op­ment plan is the rapidly-ex­pand­ing pri­vate sec­tor. As His Ex­cel­lency Mo­hammed Al-Jadaan, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, said at the 2020 An­nual Bud­get launch: “e gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues its stead­fast com­mit­ment to em­pow­er­ing the pri­vate sec­tor’s role in the econ­omy, job cre­ation and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of in­vest­ment un­der the um­brella of Saudi Vi­sion 2030 ob­jec­tives.” e min­is­ter re­it­er­ated the 22 pri­vate sec­tor sup­port ini­tia­tives tar­get­ing strate­gic sec­tors are bear­ing fruit as un­der­lined by sec­ond quar­ter eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors. “We have adopted eco­nomic poli­cies that tar­get the growth of non-oil GDP, im­prov­ing the qual­ity of ser­vices for our cit­i­zens, and rais­ing the ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness of gov­ern­ment spend­ing, es­pe­cially so­cial spend­ing.” Such progress and pledges are mu­sic to the ears of firms like King­dom Hold­ing Com­pany (KHC), a di­ver­si­fied group with in­ter­ests in hos­pi­tal­ity, me­dia, health­care, avi­a­tion, petro­chem­i­cals, and real es­tate, among oth­ers. KHC is fully com­mit­ted to mak­ing Vi­sion 2030 a suc­cess—both from a com­mer­cial per­spec­tive and in bring­ing in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to a wider cross-sec­tion of stake­holder in­ter­ests. KHC con­sists of a se­lect team of ex­pe­ri­enced in­vest­ment spe­cial­ists di­rected by its founder and chair­man, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and CEO, Talal I. Al­maiman. In 2019, the com­pany an­nounced am­bi­tious plans to in­vest more than $1 bil­lion in the na­tional mar­ket, with se­nior ex­ec­u­tives look­ing at po­ten­tial open­ings in all sec­tors ex­cept fi­nance and real es­tate, where KHC is al­ready heav­ily in­vested. “We truly be­lieve Saudi Ara­bia is one of the top coun­tries to in­vest in, and once in­vested you shall be well re­warded,” Al­maiman states. “ere is no doubt that Saudi op­por­tu­ni­ties are huge. We are here to stay; we are a Saudi com­pany that was es­tab­lished in Saudi Ara­bia, All our se­nior man­age­ment team mem­bers are Saudi, and we are very proud of that.” Founded 20 years ago the Univer­sity of Busi­ness and Tech­nol­ogy (UBT) is a Jeddah-based pri­vate univer­sity cater­ing to male and fe­male stu­dents seek­ing un­der­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate pro­grams, With an alumni of 5,800, UBT is fa­mous for its “Ed­u­ca­tion for Job Op­por­tu­ni­ties” slo­gan. When it comes to the em­ploy­a­bil­ity of grad­u­ates, UBT is among the na­tional lead­ers with 78 per­cent of its grad­u­ates em­ployed within six months of grad­u­a­tion. “Uni­ver­si­ties can pre­pare stu­dents for the jobs of to­day, but for the jobs of the fu­ture, they have yet to catch up. At UBT, we are fo­cus­ing on the fu­ture,” says UBT CEO, Mo­hanad A. Dahlan. “Vi­sion 2030 will re­quire many new jobs—jobs not yet avail­able here. Uni­ver­si­ties have yet to pro­duce qual­i­fied in­di­vid­u­als that can lead new in­dus­tries such as ro­bot­ics, and cy­ber se­cu­rity.”

Health­care Sec­tor in Ex­cel­lent Shape

Es­tab­lished in 1922 as the first phar­macy in Jeddah, Tamer Group is now one of the lead­ing Health­care Groups in the King­dom, op­er­at­ing in the fields of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, man­u­fac­tur­ing, lo­gis­tics ser­vices, and the dis­tri­bu­tion of FMCG and pres­tige prod­ucts. To be the part­ner of choice, Tamer Group has sus­tained solid part­ner­ships with lead­ing health­care or­ga­ni­za­tion on a local and in­ter­na­tional level. “We will con­tinue to strengthen our lead­er­ship po­si­tion through ex­tend­ing mar­ket reach, prod­uct port­fo­lio en­hance­ments and diver

sifi­ca­tion of service of­fer­ings,” says Ay­man M. Tamer, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Part­ner. We sup­port part­ners in achiev­ing by pro­vid­ing them with an ef­fi­cient, ro­bust trans­ac­tional plat­form, state-of-the-art op­er­a­tional in­fra­struc­ture, a highly-skilled, pro­fes­sional team and the agility re­quired to adopt cus­tom­ized so­lu­tions to run mul­ti­ple busi­ness mod­els”. Des­ig­nated by Vi­sion 2030 as “one of the most sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic sec­tors” for the king­dom, the so­cial and health­care in­dus­try will re­ceive a stag­ger­ing $167 bil­lion in cu­mu­la­tive gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­ture in 2020. Largely pub­licly fi­nanced, the health­care sec­tor has made ma­jor strides in the qual­ity of its in­fra­struc­ture and service pro­vi­sion, although 90 per­cent of all med­i­cal equip­ment and de­vices are im­ported. Now the largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket in the re­gion, Saudi Ara­bia has at­tracted sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment from in­dus­try giants like GSK. A sub­sidiary of in­dus­trial ti­tan Saudi Chem­i­cal, AJA Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­dus­tries pro­duces a wide range of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts in var­i­ous fin­ished dosage forms for dif­fer­ent ther­a­peu­tic classes. “We aim to form col­lab­o­ra­tions to co-de­velop, co-man­u­fac­ture, co-mar­ket and widely sell and dis­trib­ute, care­fully se­lected range of prod­ucts, as well as li­censed prod­ucts with tech­nol­ogy trans­fer; re­ly­ing on the huge ca­pa­bil­i­ties, qual­ity and tech­nolo­gies at our own plant,” af­firms Mo­hammed Saud Abader, the suc­cess­ful group’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. e re­cent 2020 Bud­get State­ment high­lighted no­table growth in var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors dur­ing 2019, with that pos­i­tive trend forecast to con­tinue into 2020 and beyond. Progress to­wards the plethora of Vi­sion 2030 goals is gath­er­ing speed, and the fu­sion of mul­ti­ple strate­gic ob­jec­tives for eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion with a sta­ble eco­nomic frame­work and pro-busi­ness cli­mate bodes very well for the king­dom’s fu­ture.

Glitzy shop­ping malls en­sure re­tail­ers ring up de­cent re­turns

With large, mod­ern and gleam­ing shop­ping malls spring­ing up around the king­dom, the Saudi re­tail sec­tor is forecast to re­peat its re­cent dou­ble-digit an­nual per­cent­age growth which has seen it be­come a ma­jor source of em­ploy­ment with more than 1.5 mil­lion work­ers. e largest fran­chise re­tailer in the re­gion, Al­hokair Fash­ion Re­tail has more than 1,750 stores that of­fer the lat­est de­signs from over 75 brands. “e Saudi customer is sig­nif­i­cantly more so­phis­ti­cated than be­fore. ey know ex­actly what they want. ey have in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure, and they know the brands, which makes it in­ter­est­ing and more chal­leng­ing for re­tail­ers,” states CEO, Mar­wan Moukarzel. “e malls here are im­pres­sive and bet­ter ones are com­ing. is is a wel­come op­por­tu­nity for re­tail­ers like us. We want to shift from be­ing purely a fash­ion player, to more of a life­style player, so will take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties ahead to trans­form this com­pany into a life­style com­pany.”

Tamer Group www.tamer­group.com

Mo­hammed Saud Al­bader Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Saudi Chem­i­cal Com­pany

Mar­wan Moukarzel CEO Al­hokair Fash­ion Re­tail

Ay­man M. Tamer Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Part­ner Tamer Group

Mo­hammed AlJadaan Min­is­ter of Fi­nance

Mo­hanad A. Dahlan CEO UBT

Talal I. Al­maiman CEO King­dom Hold­ing Co

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