The Business Year

HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdullah Bin Thunyan Al Saud


A Tale of Three Cities

Chairman, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu


HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdullah Bin Thunyan Al Saud has a degree in Civil Engineering from King Saud University and is the Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Chairman of SABIC. He began his career in 1977 as an Engineer for Riyadh Municipality, and has also played key roles in numerous development programs, been a member of several committees formed by Royal Decree, and participated in a host of forums and scientific seminars. His Royal Highness also has a special interest in the field of social and cultural activities.

TBY talks to HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdullah Bin Thunyan Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Chairman of SABIC, on attracting international investors, developments in Ras Al-Khair city, and opportunities to diversify.

How would you describe the current investment climate for Jubail and Yanbu Industrial Cities, and how will the Royal Commission work to attract more local and international investors?

The Kingdom is keen to diversify its sources of income through the promotion of industry and provision of the right climate for domestic and foreign investment in the industrial fields. This is based on security and political stability and economic durability, as well as the existence of well-established laws and regulations and a judicial system that is characterized by a high degree of transparency and independence. In addition to this, a favorable investment climate should be enjoyed by the cities of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. They enjoy many investment opportunities, whether in the petrochemical and mining sectors, or in the field of infrastructure and services. Cities of the commission are characterized by distinct strategic positions that enable investors access to global markets, and where available the necessary raw materials for petrochemical and mining industries at competitive prices. The cities are characterized by quality management. All these features qualify the Kingdom in general, and the cities of the Royal Commission in particular, to be a favorite destination for many investors. The cities of the commission have managed to contribute to the achievement of the ambitious aspirations of the Kingdom’s leadership by succeeding to attract many investments over past decades. The cities Jubail, Yanbu, and Ras Al-Khair continue to achieve more accomplishments through well thought out plans to provide investment opportunities and present them to the potential investors to take advantage of the competitive edge enjoyed by the Kingdom. Recently, the Commission worked on the development of special locations in the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu, known as PlasChem. These locations will provide an appropriate environment for the establishment of industries producing specialized chemicals and transformation industries for plastic products.

How do you see the large developments in Ras Al-Khair city adding to the national economy and the surrounding region?

The strategic view of Ras Al-Khair Industrial city is to transfer the Kingdom into a strategic axis in the mining industry at the national and global level. Ras Al-Khair is linked to the mines in the north and center of the Kingdom and Waad Alshamal city through railway lines to transport mineral ores, including concentrate phosphate and bauxite for the projects of Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) to complete their manufacture and development of the relative manufacturing industries. It is then exported via Ras Al-Khair’s modern port on the Arabian Gulf, which contains seven piers with work for seven more underway. This represents a new economic sector in its size that is identical to the industrial strategy and the strategic option of the Kingdom to diversify the base of the national economy and create job opportunities in the industrial mining sector. Ras Al-Khair Industrial City is also home to the largest production plant of water and electricity under Saline Water Conversion Corporation, producing 1.03 million cubic meters of water and 2,400MW of electricity.

What international opportunities are there for SABIC to diversify its assets abroad?

SABIC has a clear vision to become the leading and preferred global company in the field of chemicals. The company has a clearly defined integrated strategy until the year 2025. The world around us is changing quickly and competition has become stronger, especially with the increasing world population and limited natural resources. SABIC applies its vision and strategy to support its capacities to face said challenges, which requires fundamental changes in the way we work. Our strategy must be able to convert those challenges into successful and fruitful business opportunities for the company. We are fully aware of the extent of our continuing need to gain access to raw materials at competitive prices in order to maintain the steady growth of SABIC. The shale gas revolution in North America has provided competitive opportunities in the raw materials for the petrochemical industry, but a need remains to diversify our sources of raw material from several geographic areas around the world. Clearly, we have to diversify our package of sources of raw materials.



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