On June 30, the U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) hosted a webinar on the opportunities for investment and partnership in the chemical industry available to both U.S. and Saudi companies. The event, entitled “Opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s Specialty Chemicals Sector,” was moderated by USSBC Senior Vice President David Callahan.
The event was planned by the Council with Dussur, the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company, and also included guest speakers from the National Industrial Development Center (NIDC) and SABIC. The webinar was attended by a total of 58 participants from U.S. and Saudi companies. Speakers included Eng. Mohammed Al Mugaibel, Director at Dussur; Eng. Musaad Al Alsadhan, Senior Manager, Chemicals, of the National Industrial Development Center (NIDC); and Eng.Wael Alomairi, Leader, Industrial Cluster Chemicals Opportunity Identification & Outreach at SABIC.
The speakers discussed the national goal under Vision 2030 to accelerate development of downstream specialty chemicals to fill gaps in the value chains of local industry sectors, such as electronics, aircraft, automotive, agrochemicals, water and wastewater treatment, oil & gas, healthcare, packaging, construction, and pharmaceuticals. They noted that opportunities exist for companies of any size and also emphasized the growing role of emerging technologies in the specialty chemicals space.
Speaking first, Eng. Musaad Al Alsadhan provided an overview of the market in Saudi Arabia and showcased the Saudi government’s new website dedicated to featuring investment opportunities across various industrial centers: https://www.ic.gov.sa. Mr. Al Mugaibel, speaking next, explained the integrated approach the Saudi government is taking to encourage investment noting Dussur’s close collaboration with various public and private sector entities to provide a full platform of support for foreign investors. He also mentioned specific areas in the downstream chemical space where Dussur is seeking investment partners. Lastly, Mr. Alomairi discussed and promoted NUSANED, SABIC’s e-platform to support localization and private sector participation.
David Callahan spoke to the current size and growth potential of the specialty chemical market saying the size of the market in the GCC was $22 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $32 billion by 2027. Saudi Arabia represents 71 percent of the GCC market, he said.
After the formal presentation of the three speakers, Mr. Abdulkarim Al-Shabnan, Chief Advisor at the NIDC, and Mr. Habib Al-Harbi, Director of the Chemicals Sector at NIDC, joined the webinar for the question-and-answer session.
The speakers concluded the session by emphasizing the great potential available to private sector partners and investors, both small and large, in the specialty chemicals industry. Mr. Callahan concluded the meeting by thanking the speakers for their presentation and encouraging participants to contact the USSBC if they want more information or would like to be connected with the program experts.