RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has launched three new initiatives to support the private sector, as the Kingdom steadily progresses in its journey to achieve the economic diversification goals outlined in Vision 2030.
At the Private Sector Forum in Riyadh on March 14, the Public Investment Fund unveiled its local content growth program named ‘MUSAHAMA’, aimed at increasing the share of local content spend in the fund’s domestic portfolio to 60 percent by the end of 2025.
During the event, PIF also launched the ‘Suppliers Development Program’ which will support the upskilling of local suppliers and vendors to meet the growing requirements of the fund’s portfolio companies. As a part of this program, PIF will hold vendor boot camps to help Tier 2 and Tier 3 contractors prepare their companies to qualify as vendors, according to a press release.
Another program that was launched during the forum was the ‘Private Sector Hub’, a dedicated channel to share supplier and investment opportunities.
“The empowerment of the private sector is one of PIF’s foremost priorities considering the private sector’s crucial role in the growth and development of the Saudi economy,” said PIF’s Head of the National Development Division Jerry Todd.
He added: “The launch of our MUSAHAMA Local Content Program and Supplier Development Program is a major step forward in our efforts to drive the growth of local content in the Kingdom.”
Enabling private sector as investor
During the forum, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, said the fund is keen to enhance the role of the private sector as an investor and partner in the Kingdom.
Reiterating the views of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Al-Rumayyan said that the role of private enterprise is crucial for the Kingdom’s economic diversification.
“The PIF always seeks to enhance the role of the private sector and considers it a strategic and important partner for the PIF to enhance the thriving economy of Saudi Arabia,” said Al-Rumayyan.
He added: “PIF Private Sector Forum is designed to enable and enhance cooperation and coordination between the private sector, and also see the opportunities and partnerships provided by the PIF through different programs and companies.”
Al-Rumayyan further noted that the fund wants to support the private sector in increasing its contribution to the gross domestic product by up to 65 percent by 2030, create job opportunities, localize technology, and drive the transfer of technology and knowledge to Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rumayyan said that the fund is keen to involve the private sector through its plan to develop 13 strategic sectors in the Kingdom.
“PIF has established different specialized companies for joint investments to support the private sector and SMEs,” he added.
The PIF governor said: “I am looking forward to enhancing the avenues of interest between the PIF and the private sector.”
Al-Rumayyan added that programs and agreements designed for the private sector will be announced during the forum, which will contribute to “facilitating communication and activation of partnerships effectively and sustainably.”
Vitality of private sector partnership
While speaking at a panel discussion during the forum, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef said that PIF is a very important “enabler and a strategic partner” in order to achieve the targets of the local content.
Alkhorayef agreed that the partnership with the private sector is very crucial to achieve local content targets in the Kingdom.
For his part, Abdulaziz Al-Arifi, CEO of the Shareek program, said that the program has helped so many private companies from Saudi Arabia grow, not just locally or regionally, but also globally.
“They are able, and they have the passion and keenness to achieve the targets in terms of investment capital. Shareek program is a destination for companies in terms of empowerment and enablement to achieve our promising targets in line with Vision 2030,” said Al-Arifi.
He further noted that the Shareek program defines big companies as those that can invest SR10 billion ($2.66 billion) until 2030, or SR1 billion per annum.
Al-Arifi further pointed out that the initiative is not only just benefitting companies but is also creating a positive impact on the entire economy.
Launched in 2021, Shareek aims to strengthen partnerships between public and private sectors and increase the contributions of large businesses to ensure economic sustainability.