Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) has partnered with Xylem, a leader in water technologies, to develop and localise advanced water and wastewater products and technologies in a bid to address water challenges in Saudi Arabia.
Representing an investment of $50 million, the agreement aligns with Xylem’s key strategic priority to expand its manufacturing footprint into the kingdom, to better serve its growing portfolio of customers in Saudi Arabia and across the region.
A core objective of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is to accelerate adoption of digital water solutions and optimise utility networks across the Kingdom.
The proposed multimillion-dollar investment will not only help build a vibrant local supply chain, but also see Xylem bringing additional commercial opportunities into the kingdom, with the wider aim of improving water solutions locally. The agreement is in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote economic diversification through investments in localization that will also contribute to the export of products ‘Made in Saudi’ across the world.
The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) by Ibrahim A Al Omar, Governor of Sagia, and Steven Leung, senior vice president and president, Emerging Markets of Xylem, in the presence of senior officials of both entities and Frank Ackland, managing director Xylem Middle East.
Al Omar said: “As Saudi Arabia welcomes investors and decision-makers from across the globe to this annual global investment platform, the agreements exchanged here reflect the strength and diversity of the economy.
“Under Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an ambitious programme of economic reform, and the world is taking notice. This month, Saudi Arabia climbed 30 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, becoming the most improved economy globally. The indicators are clear: Saudi Arabia is not only open for business, it’s the economy of the future.”
Leung added: “As Xylem continues to lead the water sector’s digital transformation globally, this MoU presents an opportunity to leverage our market-leading portfolio and application expertise to advance water security in Saudi Arabia.
“Through our investment of $50 million, and with our strong presence in Saudi Arabia, backed by our dedicated office and team, we are committed to creating in-kingdom value through our investments and partnerships. We are thankful to Sagia for the opportunity to directly contribute our expertise to the development vision of the leadership, as the Kingdom embarks on its ambitious transformation program.”
According to the GCC Water & Wastewater 2019 Market Outlook report by MEED, the demand for water is set to grow by 62 per cent by 2025. Saudi Arabia, led by its large population and ongoing investment in agriculture and industries, is the largest market within the GCC, and the kingdom needs to boost its installed seawater desalination capacity by 785 MIGD to meet predicted demand. This underlines the need for innovative solutions in the kingdom, an area in which Xylem has proven global and regional credentials.
Xylem opened its dedicated office in the kingdom, located in Riyadh, in 2017 as part of its $35 million investment in the Mena region.