By Tom Kool of OilPrice.com,
Saudi Aramco has signed more than 100 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) worth $7.2 billion to support the local industrial and manufacturing sectors, the Saudi oil giant said on Monday as the Kingdom looks to have more local content in the industrial supply chains.
The signing of the deals took place during the 7th edition of the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) Forum and Exhibition, a program to boost local content in supply chains. The program achieved 63% local content in 2022, up from 35% in 2015 when it was launched, Saudi Aramco said in a statement.
The event was attended by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
During the event, Aramco launched its wholly owned subsidiary Aramco Digital Company, which aims to accelerate digital transformation within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region.
The forum also awarded winners in several categories for in-house value added, including major oilfield services operators. SLB, formerly Schlumberger, won the best in overall iktva services award, Halliburton won in training and development, Baker Hughes in supplier development, and Siemens Energy best overall iktva for manufacturing.
The iktva program encourages the establishment of regional headquarters in the Kingdom, Saudi Aramco said.
In 2021, Saudi Arabia’s authorities said that companies willing to do business with Saudi government firms or such owned by the state should have their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia eased some of those rules about regional headquarters and allowed companies with small foreign operations to continue working with customers affiliated with or owned by the Kingdom.
The move to boost local content and strengthen manufacturing and industry is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to diversify its economy, which depends a lot on oil production and exports.