Investments in Saudi industrial sector exceed $132bn amid diversification push
Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector is witnessing unprecedented growth, with investments in the Kingdom’s burgeoning manufacturing landscape reaching SR495 billion ($132 billion) in mere seven years since the launch of Vision 2030.
As part of the wider diversification push, the Kingdom issued over 2,000 new licenses for various projects to ramp up its domestic manufacturing capacity. This helped create around 193,000 new jobs within the industrial sector since the launch of the ambitious vision in 2016 to gradually wean itself off oil dependence.
The mining industry witnessed rapid growth in activities, with the Kingdom granting nearly 1,330 new licenses, attracting more than SR120 billion in investments, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.
Noting that these figures were attained within only seven months since the ministry had launched its first auction for new mining exploration licenses in October last year.
Earlier this month, the ministry shortlisted 13 bidders to receive mining exploration licenses for two of its five exploration sites in the Kingdom.
The new draw will see the shortlisted bidders compete for permission to dig for valuable metals in two of the key exploration sites in Riyadh and Asir.
The Ar Ridaniyah site, located in the Saudi capital, contains zinc and silver deposits and spans over an area of 75 sq. km.
Whereas the Muhaddad site in Asir, located in the southwest region of Saudi Arabia, contains copper, zinc, lead, and gold deposits and covers 139 sq. km.
The announcement comes in line with the ministry’s aims to support investors, enhance investment in the mining sector and encourage national industries.
The Kingdom also upgraded its mining laws to attract more private players.
This saw the number of mining complexes in the Kingdom rising to 377 as of the end of 2022, with an estimated area of 44,365 sq. km, according to the latest government data.
In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom aims to transform the mining sector into the third pillar of the national industry and work on exploiting the mineral wealth in the Kingdom valued at around SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion).
Furthermore, the number of factories in the Kingdom rose 50 percent since the launch of Vision 2030, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil said in March.
His comments came after figures that were released last year showed that the Kingdom had more than 10,000 industrial facilities, with 1,023 factories starting operations in 2022 alone.