Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 have generated tremendous interest among investors and the private sector.
The programs are being looked upon as a great opportunity for boosting the inflow of foreign direct investment as also for the private sector to play a contributory role in the Kingdom’s long-term goal of becoming the world’s major powerhouse.
“In fact, the programs are a golden opportunity for us to contribute to realizing the long-term goals of the vision document and the NTP plan,” an investor and head of a major Saudi business entity, said echoing the sentiments of fellow businessmen.
Other business leaders are of opinion that both Vision 2030 and the NTP 2020 have unfolded tremendous potential for boosting the inflow of both local and foreign investors, and also for the thriving private sector to play a significant role in realizing the set goals.
The private sector in general has already swung into swift action with a view to making their contribution in the success of Vision 2030 announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in recent months.
One of the major private sector entities is E.A. Juffali & Brothers Co. whose Managing Partner and Vice Chairman Khaled bin Ahmed Juffali affirmed at a recent roundtable discussion that the company was looking at localizing much more in the Kingdom than before, specifically by training young Saudis and students.
The roundtable on "The future of mobility and the development of the automotive aftermarket in Saudi Arabia" was hosted by Uwe Thomas, chairman of the automotive aftermarket divisional board at Robert Bosch GmbH, Khaled Juffali and Andreas Bodemer, vice president of the Middle East and Africa Region in celebration of Bosch’s longstanding presence in the Kingdom, and 50 years of partnership with Juffali Auto Parts Co.
Thomas gave a presentation on the aftermarket sector in the region and the Bosch’s solutions at the roundtable.
Juffali said: “What the company is doing now is to further intensify its efforts toward realizing the goals of Vision 2030. The capacity of the training center on Makkah Road has been raised to 800 students. We are training Saudi employees to bring them into the system. We are training young Saudis as mechanics and electricians.”
Juffali added that the company is depending on Bosch’s knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to assist training of young Saudis.
Thomas said Saudi Arabia with a population of over 30 million inhabitants and a GDP of $752 billion is the largest economy in the Middle East. “Saudi Arabia will continue to be the most important consumption market in Middle East and remain strategically the most important market in the region,” he added.
Bosch AA & Juffali will continue to invest in Saudi Arabia with the objective of increasing their market share. Juffali plans to have 23 branches to serve 2020 parts outlets by 2020. Bosch will setup a representative office in the fourth quarter of 2016 in support of local partners. Thomas mentioned that the Middle East continues to be a key market for Bosch, although the current geopolitical situation and low oil price have a challenging impact on the economic development.
“We are however confident that the momentum created by mega events like the Jeddah Metro, Dubai Expo 2020, and the World Cup in Qatar 2022 will contribute toward positive business developments and a continued demand for our products and services. Vision 2030 will also promote continued positive developments,” Thomas added.
There are three mega trends ringing in this new era. They will shape and change mobility permanently: Increase in efficiency of combustion engines and electric powertrains, highly automated driving and connected driving, which is closely linked to the other two, according to Thomas.