STRATEGIC PARTNERS

Saudi Arabia 2020 | INDUSTRY & DEFENSE | INTERVIEW

High-quality insulation presents one of the leading opportunities for the sector in the short and medium term.

Moosa Al-Moosa
BIOGRAPHY
Moosa Al-Moosa is the country president of Dow in Saudi Arabia and shareholder representative for the Sadara Joint Venture. He leads the organization in enhancing its presence and partnerships, and executing its growth strategy. He is also responsible for managing all shareholder matters related to Sadara and strengthening Dow’s relationship with its partner Saudi Aramco. Prior to his current position, he was Dow’s President for the UAE and finance director for Dow India, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. Al-Moosa has had an extensive career with global financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank’s New York office, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup Asset Management in their London and New York offices. He has an MBA from Wharton and a BA in economics from Georgetown.

How does Dow Saudi position itself as an innovator in the material science sector, and what role does Saudi Arabia play in its portfolio?

In April 2019, Dow completed the spin off from Dow-DuPont, positioning itself as a leading materials science company with the ambition of becoming the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science company in the world. That being said, our focus on continued and sustained growth at a global level also applies to the regional and local level. In Saudi Arabia, through Sadara Chemical Company, a USD-20 billion JV with Saudi Aramco, we have introduced products being launched in the Kingdom for the first time. Moreover, we have Dow Middle East Innovation Center (MEIC), which has Dow's R&D facilities and the Digital Marketplace Center capabilities for the region. Through MEIC, we provide application development and technical services focused on oil and gas technology solutions, sustainable coating and construction solutions, and industrial chemicals for a variety of applications relevant to Saudi Arabia and the broader region. However, the most invaluable investment in any country is human capital, and Dow has successfully done that by giving many young Saudis the opportunity to develop their skillset and careers, having trained them so that they can come back and contribute to Saudi Arabia's economy.

What was the driver behind choosing Saudi Arabia as the location for the second digital center within Dow's portfolio? What are the center's main goals?

Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of investing in its youth. Its population not only provides a huge pipeline, but also offers talented students. As such, we continue to recruit young Saudis who work in MEIC at Thuwal, on digital market solutions such as data visualization, social listening, finding solutions for customers, and addressing today's challenges. Indeed, today, the digitalization of the entire commercial process has become particularly relevant. Business is not just defined by a buyer-seller relationship, but through close partnership and collaboration. Chemical companies realize the need to facilitate business for their customers and stakeholders in Saudi Arabia. This can happen through tracking developments, providing innovative solutions, reducing overall costs, and engaging closely with customers.

How do Dow Saudi Arabia's plans to invest in coatings reflect opportunities in the local petrochemical sector, and what are other attractive areas for international investors to engage in?

The downstream industry, especially through value parks, achieves many of the goals set by Vision 2030. First, there is a multiplier effect in terms of job creation; second, the farther downstream we go, the more we can substitute imports for local manufacturing; third, it serves as a diversification of the economy, and it should only really happen to serve a local market. The Saudi market is the largest in the GCC. It has the largest number of consumers, most infrastructure, and the biggest construction base in the region. The coatings plant we are building serves the construction industry with many government projects coming up, and the construction sector will pick up and require more solutions, which represents an opportunity for players seeking to do business in Saudi Arabia. Construction chemicals is another area where we expect to see more demand, as well as oil fields to meet Aramco's significant infrastructure investment in gas and its goal to increase gas capacity. Finally, insulation materials will be in high demand, since the pick-up of the construction industry will require well-built insulation.