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  • SBF and Enterprise Singapore Lead Business Delegation to Saudi Arabia to explore Saudi Vision 2030 Opportunities

SBF and Enterprise Singapore Lead Business Delegation to Saudi Arabia to explore Saudi Vision 2030 Opportunities

  • The Overseas Market Workshop is held in conjunction with President of Singapore Mdm Halimah Yacob’s first state visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Delegation from information technology and infrastructure sectors to explore opportunities brought about by the country’s Vision 2030 initiative
Friday, 1 November 2019 [Singapore] The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is leading a group of delegates to Saudi Arabia from 3 to 8 November 2019. Jointly organised with Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the Overseas Market Workshop (OMW) is held in conjunction with President of Singapore Mdm Halimah Yacob’s first state visit to the country.

The business delegation of 30 business owners and C-suite personnel, specifically from the information technology and infrastructure sectors, will be led by Mr Shamsher Zaman, Singapore’s non-resident Ambassador to Jordan and also Chairman of SBF’s Middle East Business Group.

Saudi Arabia represents the biggest market in the Middle Eastern region. Its GDP reached an all-time high of US$782.48 billion in 20181. In 2016, a nationwide Initiative Vision 2030, aimed at diversifying the Kingdom’s economy,2 was introduced.
Vision 2030 emphasises the development of Saudi Arabia’s education, healthcare, infrastructure, recreation and tourism sectors, and is aimed at increasing foreign direct investment from 3.8% of GDP to 5.7%, and raising non-oil exports from 16% of GDP to 50%.3

SBF CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit said, “Vision 2030, in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy, presents opportunities for Singapore companies, particularly in the information technology and infrastructure sectors where demand for digital services is fast-growing. Businesses from both countries have a good track record of working together and we hope that through this overseas market workshop, our companies can explore more areas of collaboration.”

As part of Vision 2030’s economic reforms, several smart city initiatives have been launched in the buildings, transport, communications and environmental sectors. The overarching National Digital Transformation Program oversees and aims to accelerate the implementation of both primary and digital infrastructure projects4. The Kingdom’s progress is evident in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, published by the World Economic Forum, as Saudi Arabia improved by 16 places for its information communications technology (ICT) adoption pillar5.

Mr Zaman said, “As the country evolves into a globally competitive ICT hub, investment opportunities abound for our Singapore companies, including the development of digital content and media, the expansion of the telecommunication system, the digitalisation transformation of the country, and the creation of new high-tech and smart industries.”
Highlights of the OMW include:

1. Meet and Greet Session with President Mdm Halimah Yacob on 7 November
  • Singapore delegates will have the opportunity to meet with President Mdm Halimah Yacob to discuss Saudi Arabia’s business environment and market opportunities. They will also be joined by representatives of Singapore companies with businesses in the Kingdom for knowledge and experience sharing.
2. Sector-specific Meetings with Local Companies and Government Ministries
  • Meetings with relevant governmental agencies like the Ministry of ICT and Ministry of Housing to understand the investment opportunities in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, logistics and ICT, as well as the key reforms that will enable easier market access for foreign companies.
  • Delegates will call on key representatives of conglomerates like Zamil Group, Obeikan Group and more. They will also meet leading companies within the industries aligned to their interests, as well as global asset management companies such as SEDCO Holding Group.
3. Exploration of Cross-Border Collaborations with Saudi Arabian Companies
  • Delegates will meet with members of the Riyadh and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, who have expertise in a range of smart technologies, including smart urban infrastructure design and engineering, energy-efficiency, data services and software development.
Saudi Arabia was Singapore’s 19th largest trading partner in 2017, with bilateral trade amounting to S$13.8 billion. And among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Saudi Arabia is Singapore’s second-largest trading partner6.

Meinhardt Singapore is one company that has contributed to the good bilateral relations between both countries. It has worked with a Saudi Arabia investment company as a Client Representative to develop the master-planned project for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, which aims to become a world-class financial and business hub.

Group Executive Chairman Dr Shahzad Nasim, who is part of the delegation, said, “Meinhardt’s role included representing and safeguarding the client’s interests covering all aspects of architectural, MEP and façade installations and construction quality by scheduled and ad hoc inspections, review of specifications, equipment and assemblies. By joining this OMW, we hope to share our experience with the other delegates as well as potentially undertake more infrastructure projects and projects of a similar nature in Saudi Arabia.”


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