RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to localize 18 professions over the next year as the Kingdom makes steady progress in its efforts to create more jobs in line with Vision 2030, according to Saudi Transport Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.
Speaking at the Local Content Forum in Riyadh on Monday, Al-Jasser revealed that the Kingdom’s transport sector was working to increase the proportion of Saudi nationals in all its services.
“The transport system is striving to increase the proportion of localization in all its services. We are close to the full localization percentage for the co-pilot profession, and soon the full pilot localization will be reached,” Al-Jasser said.
Speaking at the event, Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Kingdom has a broader and more comprehensive strategy, which will help differentiate localization from local content.
“Local content is one of the regulatory and legislative tools that different countries use within certain limits to put in place broader strategies and policies for settlement,” Al-Falih said.
According to Al-Falih, the Kingdom could achieve localization and increase local content with the help of foreign investors.
He added, however, that focusing on local content and overdoing it could hurt the country’s effectiveness in attracting foreign investment.
According to the Local Content and Procurement Authority website, the aim of promoting local content “is to preserve as much money as possible spent on purchases within the Kingdom by groups targets, whether government or private agencies or even community members.”
During the event, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef said the goals set out under Saudi Vision 2030 require a unique business model.
“The goals set out in Vision 2030 cannot be achieved using traditional methods, and the vitality of local content comes into play at this point,” Alkhorayef noted.
“This concept represents a global framework under which several elements are found, from the product to the services, including personnel, training and technology,” added the Minister.
Alkhorayef further noted that local content could help maximize the economic impact of the Kingdom’s industries, services and natural resources.
He pointed out that the Saudi government’s Local Content Coordination Council is working to increase the private sector’s contribution to local content.
The minister said steps were being taken to strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector to improve its “participation in local content development”.