Growth in real estate and SMEs key to Saudi Vision 2030 success
The growth of a stable real estate market and creation of a sustainable small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector are fundamental to the success of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, said government leaders and financial executives attending the second and final day of the 12th Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh, held in partnership with the Ministry of Finance.
At the beginning of 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a housing programme designed to handover up to 120,000 units to citizens over the year, to complement the goals of Vision 2030. The Sakani programme is part of efforts to support the housing needs of around 280,000 families by the Ministry of Housing.
“This year’s Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference has provided in-depth insight into the momentum that is building to support the goals of Vision 2030, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. There have been remarkable contributions from thought leaders and senior executives from within Saudi Arabia and from across the global banking industry. We look forward to returning to the Kingdom for the 13th edition in 2018,” said Mohamed Kharboush, Conference Director, Euromoney Conferences.
As well as real estate, the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 outlines a key role for small businesses and new start-ups. One of the stated goals of the programme is to increase the SME contribution to GDP from 20 per cent to 35 per cent.
HE Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman, Governor, General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, spoke about the need for the Kingdom’s smaller businesses to be given the necessary support to succeed in increasingly competitive domestic and international markets.
Also onstage to discuss the SME topic were Hanouf Alajmi, Entrepreneur Selection and Growth Manager at endeavour Saudi; Nawaf Attaf Al Sahhaf, Chief Executive Officer of Badir programme for Technology Incubators; Layth Al-Shaiban, Country General Manager – Saudi Arabia at Qatar National Bank; and Craig Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Dharan Techno Valley Company.
The conference closed with a panel discussion on the country’s equity capital markets, with topics covering Saudi Aramco’s much-anticipated IPO and other privatisations.
Panellists included Bader Al-Ghanim, Executive Vice President and Head of MENA Asset Management at Global Investment House; Faris Al Ghannam, Head of Investment Banking Advisory with HSBC Saudi Arabia; Sultan Al Nugali, Head of Asset Management at Al Bilad Capital; Irfan Ellam, Head of Equity Research with NCB Capital; Aasim Qureshi, Managing Director at QNB Capital; and Abdullah Shahadah, Head of Asset Management, GIB Capital.
More than 1,800 delegates registered to attend the conference, which saw presentations and interviews with senior ministers from the Kingdom, including HE Mr Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, HE Dr Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and CEOs and executives from some of the world’s largest banks.
The largest financial conference of its kind in the Kingdom, The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference continues to drive economic debate and essential insight for financiers from KSA and around the world.
HE Mr. Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Minister of Housing, delivered day two’s opening keynote address and outlined the country’s ambitious plans to facilitate the sufficient supply and demand necessary to ensure a sustainably robust real estate market.