I have been lucky enough to be invited to a great event last week in Riyadh. I was part of a panel to in The Saudi Economic Forum.
The discussion was about the Future Engines of Growth in the Saudi Economy the Moderator was the one and only Dr. John Sfakianakis, Group General Manager, Chief Economist, Banque Saudi Fransi. The Panel was formed by the new generation of Business leaders
• Mr.Sultan Turki, COO, Al Nahla Group
• Mr.Salman Al Jishi, Chairman, Salman Group
• Mr.Badr Al Hammad, CEO, Maccen Capital
• Mr.Ihsan Bafakih, Chief Financial Officer, Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON)
• and the one and only myself Mr. Husam S. Al-Saleh, Managing Director, Hala Supply Chain Services Co.
The discussion was for us to keep in mind
"The Saudi economy has increased in size and presence, both locally and internationally. The panel should look at the achievements of the economy and the private sector over the last ten years but also reflect on what can be done going forward. Which are the sectors tha
t would produce the necessary growth drivers, both from a labor/employment perspective and value added for the economy. The participants should keep two questions in mind: first, where was their businesses a decade ago and where is it today and; second, how do they see the future and how do they position themselves in the market place. Obviously, there was positive growth over the last decade but also requires self reflection about the past and also about the coming years."
We were asked to examine the challenges and growth drivers for the economy, here was my summary to the discussion:
The kingdom's is focusing on creating an economy that will last other than Oil. Huge steps have been made to secure this from healthcare, new economic cities, industrial clusters, the land bridge and the new industrial estates being developed by MODON. What is lacking is investment in the road network and in the policies from Port Authorizes to Customs all this need to be upgraded and invested in to take advantage of all the above to stream line the Supply Chain and use the full potential of the initiatives listed above.