The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) and the Royal Commission at Yanbu (RCY), the master planner and managing authority for Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu Industrial City, held an exclusive roundtable on March 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by H.E. Dr. Alaa Nassif, CEO of RCY, the program served as a forum to share market information, address concerns, and engage in dialogue with a select group of companies who are involved in target industries that Yanbu would like to support and grow in the Kingdom. These included companies in industries such as chemicals and plastics, packaging, desalination, automotive, fabricated metals, specialized glass and logistics.
In highlighting the opportunities in Yanbu, Dr. Nassif and Eng. Khalid Radhwan, Director of Strategic Planning and Performance Management, spoke about the infrastructure support, financial incentives, availability of low-cost feedstock, and the market for key target sectors in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region, and the broader Middle East.
Under the leadership of the RCY, Yanbu has grown into the world’s 3rd largest refining hub and one of Saudi Arabia’s favored locations for new industrial development. Dr. Nassif noted that “Saudi Arabia’s industrial cities have become the cornerstone of the Kingdom’s drive toward diversified industrialization and economic development.” The cities currently account for 65 percent of industrial investment in the Gulf Region and enjoy a 20.2 percent average annual growth rate for FDI.
During the roundtable, Edward Burton, CEO and President, USSABC, stated, “Yanbu’s competitive package of land, utility and infrastructure services coupled with its access to Middle Eastern, European, Asian and African markets make it a must for consideration for any international firm looking to expand its footprint in the region.”
Representatives from the Royal Commission were joined by Mr. Adel Al-Mubarak, Commercial Attaché at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as representatives from the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Los Angeles and the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles.
The event was one in a series of collaborative programs organized by the USSABC and the Royal Commission. It follows a similar executive roundtable held in November 2014 in Houston, Texas, as well as a business development mission in March 2014 to the Kingdom that focused on investment in the petrochemicals sector. The mission included meetings with Royal Commission leadership and senior management from Saudi companies, participation in the 2014 Saudi Downstream Forum, and tours of plants in Jubail Industrial City and Yanbu Industrial City.