Second Saudi Maritime Congress to steer the shipping & logistics sector on current transformation initiatives in the Kingdom
Leading government authorities such as Saudi Customs and Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani), as well as major companies such as Bahri and Saudi Aramco Marine Department, which play a key role in the implementation of the latest development initiatives across Saudi Arabia, will share significant insights on how strategies under the Saudi Vision 2030 intend to deliver the desired transformation in the country during the Saudi Maritime Congress held on 11-12 March in Riyadh.
H.E.Ahmed Alhakbani, Governor - General Customs Authority, said: “Saudi Customs play a crucial role in driving national transformation as trade is a vital sector in development. The authority continues to build on its strengths to ensure that policies are moving towards a more efficient and faster customs processes in accordance with existing national laws and international regulations. The shipping sector is an essential partner for Saudi Customs to implement its goal and we are keen to be an essential contributor in providing insights regarding recent developments and upcoming initiatives, which aims to improve the trade process and thereby contribute to national and international economic growth.”
Eng Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO, Bahri, commented: “Bahri’s commitment to steering Saudi Arabia’s shipping sector towards new levels of growth and development is anchored on the nation’s transformation plan. Our business strategies are fully aligned with the goals set out in Saudi Vision 2030, while also extending our global reach in the maritime industry. We will continue to build on our existing services and solutions to contribute to the enhancement of the Kingdom’s shipping and logistics sector. Bahri’s participation in this major event will further strengthen our resolve to establish the Kingdom as one of the world’s leading logistics and transportation hubs.”
The recently launched National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), one of the 13 Vision Realization Programs under Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to make the country into a leading global player in logistical services, will pave way for the growth of four key sectors: industry, mining, energy and logistics, and contribute up to SAR 1.2 trillion to Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A total of 330 logistics initiatives are being developed under the program and stimulate up to SAR 1.7 trillion of investments.
The oil and gas sector is also primed to increase business growth from the local market by up to 75 per cent by 2030 from 40 per cent in 2015. Some of these initiatives are being led by Saudi Aramco, which aims to develop a more competitive local supply chain by requiring suppliers them to secure 70 per cent of the content of their products from local sources. Meanwhile, leading shipping company Bahri has stepped its business strategies, aligning them to the country’s diversification plans through expansion of its multi-purpose fleet, adding five Very Large Crude-oil Carriers (VLCCs) as well as adopting new technologies to boost its operations capabilities.
Among the latest measures relevant to the shipping sector are reforms under the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, which are soon to allow foreign shipping agencies to hold 100 per cent ownership of their companies and operate independently under a foreign investment license. The license will have to be secured from the Saudi Ports Authority and will be valid for five years. Previously, shipping agents could operate only as a fully owned Saudi company or under the partnership with local investors.
Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, said: “The huge development plans across Saudi Arabia are opening massive opportunities for vital sectors such as the shipping and logistics industry to take part in the implementation of the country’s national agenda. The Second Saudi Maritime Congress will gather local and international economic leaders and major sector players from the shipping, ports, ship construction and offshore marine industry to further discuss how new policies and business agenda can align their efforts towards achieving the nation’s goals.”