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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector localization is fast on track as part of the government’s efforts to achieve its Vision 2030 targets, according to a senior official.  

At the Saudi-American Business Council seminar, Aftab Ahmed, a senior adviser to the Kingdom’s National Center for Industrial Development in the automotive sector, underscored the rapid transition toward domestic production of passenger vehicles and parts.  

He stated that this effort aligns with the ambitious objectives outlined in the National Industrial Strategy under Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.   

The council, in collaboration with the NCID, recently hosted a virtual seminar on the future of the Kingdom’s automotive sector.   

Over 100 industry leaders from Saudi Arabia and the US convened to discuss various aspects of the sector, including government initiatives, investment standards, and operational experiences within the Kingdom.  

The event facilitated the exchange of insights and opportunities in this rapidly evolving field. 

Prominent industry leaders such as Ceer CEO James DeLuca and Lucid Motors Vice President for the Middle East, Faisal Sultan, contributed to the dialogue.  

Interim President and CEO of the Saudi-American Business Council Susan Lindman stressed the council’s long-standing mission to foster collaboration and growth opportunities within the Kingdom’s automotive sector.  

Lindman said: “We at the Saudi-American Business Council are pleased to organize this event, as our mission for over 30 years has been to facilitate collaboration and growth opportunities in sectors such as the automotive industry in the Kingdom, and our role has been to connect industry leaders and stakeholders, present market opportunities, promote valuable networking, and discussions like these are fundamental in driving innovation and progress within the industry, and we are committed to supporting initiatives that enhance mutual prosperity and development.”  

In November last year, the CEO of NCID, Khalil Ibn Salamah, said that Saudi Arabia is seeking to become a regional center for the automotive industry, indicating that Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Strategy launched in 2022 confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to the initiative.  

In his speech at the opening of the first edition of the KSA Auto Connect Forum, held `t King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, the NCID head added that Saudi Arabia is not only progressing toward establishing an original car brand but also cultivating a new industry that will attract domestic and international investment.

The National Industrial Strategy is designed to transform the sector’s economy into a flexible, regionally integrated powerhouse, aiming for global leadership in selected commodities. 

To realize this, NIS is strengthening supply chains, enhancing the legislative and financing landscape, increasing small and medium-sized enterprise contributions, and boosting local content.  

It also focuses on expanding international trade and fostering a culture of innovation and talent retention within the industrial sector.  

Ambitious economic impacts include growing the industrial gross domestic product contribution to $377.06 billion by 2035, creating 3.3 million jobs, and significantly increasing exports and localization rates.

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