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SAUDI ARABIA - Industry

Khalid Al-Salem

President, Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJY)

Bio

Khalid Al-Salem has held the position of the President of (RCJY) with the rank of Minister & chairman of Marafiq’s board of directors since May 2022. During his career of about 31 years, Al-Salem has held a number of leadership positions in several entities, including CEO of Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON), acting deputy minister for industry at Ministry of Energy Industry and Minerals, president of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), vice president of Plastics and Packaging, (NICDP), and chemical technology GM at Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), among other positions. He holds an MBA from Thunderbird University in the US and a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from King Saud University.

"The government set up RCJY over 40 years ago as a beacon and best practice model for the growth of industrialization in the Kingdom."
With several strategies and initiatives in place to further enhance the attractiveness of its cities and encourage further investment, RCJY has helped the region see significant growth in the last few years.
Can you elaborate on RCJY’s crucial role in supporting new opportunity growth for Jubail and Yanbu?

The government set up RCJY over 40 years ago as a beacon and best practice model for the growth of industrialization in the Kingdom. In addition, RCJY has recently undertaken a comprehensive refresh of its strategy and focused on meeting the needs of global, regional, and local investors building on the success of our operating model. This strategy refresh has been undertaken in the context of Vision 2030, the National Industrial Strategy, the National Mining Strategy, and The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NDLP). In developing its future strategic direction, RCJY has considered its strategic role in terms of industrial profile, value proposition, and operating model. We used these elements to enhance our ability to provide an investor-friendly environment and to support growth opportunities in RCJY cities. Moreover, RCJY has considered its competitive environment for each sector of the National Industrial Strategy, which includes advantages of investors in RCJY cities. We have developed and are implementing initiatives to enhance our cities’ attractiveness further, ensuring a smoother investor journey, and supporting investors in their growth once they have established themselves in RCJY cities.

How are you building awareness of Jubail and Yanbu’s potential?

RCJY continues to provide a highly competitive environment for investors considering location opportunities. We undertake active promotion by attending a combination of global and regional events dedicated to the sectors of NDLP, with a focus on the National Industrial Strategy and National Mining Strategy. We actively reach out to potential investors for the target sectors and invite investors to our cities to see first-hand the infrastructure, facilities, support, and available services. We also promote investment opportunities through social media, which are available to local and international investors.

How are you accelerating and supporting SMEs?

The SME sector is a crucial element of Vision 2030 and an essential element of our strategic direction. One of our five strategical goals is to grow existing industrial base and develop new sectors with a focus on attracting industrial SMEs. We have developed and are implementing initiatives that will further enhance the attractiveness of our cities to SMEs and enable them to invest. One example of such initiative is providing shared services such as a specialized business environment for SMEs and ready-built factories and providing customized, attractive schemes and adapted procedures.

How does the development in Jazan City for Primary and Downstream Industries (JCPDI) fit within Vision 2030 and The Royal Commission?

RCJY follows a customer-driven approach by targeting specific industries in which we have a competitive advantage. In doing so, we ensure the highest synergy between our tenants. Furthermore, we have analyzed in great detail our competitive capabilities and value proposition elements for each sector. These factors are specific to each city for each priority sector and include: cost competitiveness (such as raw material availability, factor costs, incentives, and access to attractive financing schemes; cities enablers (such as advanced infrastructure, R&D facilities, and tailored industrial academic and technical training facilities); customer reach (such as export capabilities); capitalizing on our cities’ strategic geographical locations in busy trading hubs; and capturing the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea coasts. To further add to the value proposition, each city also provides high-quality, comprehensive community services, which include housing, education, healthcare, and social and leisure facilities. For JCPDI, we focus on sectors such as refining, downstream chemicals, downstream minerals and metals, food processing, building materials, and machinery and equipment. We also inaugurated JCPDI Port, which will provide a gateway to Africa and serve the targeted sectors and cater to Chinese investors. We continually strive to enhance these competitive capabilities and value proposition elements and have embarked on a program of initiatives to provide an even better environment to support FDI in each of our cities.

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