RIYADH — Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia has an ambitious program to find alternatives for petroleum in the event of a decrease in demand for it in the future through the production of final consumables.

He made the remarks on Wednesday while attending a dialogue session on the National Strategy for Industry, launched by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman the previous day. Four ministers attended the session.

“We have wasted 40 years during which we could have been like India and China,” he said while emphasizing that the work of ministries individually was ‘over’.

Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia has a program to make available gas in many regions across the Kingdom, including the delivery of gas in the industrial city of Jazan. “Investments will contribute to the establishment of factories so as to benefit from them in localization. When SABIC started, the petrochemical industry was a limited sector, and now we produce 38 million tons in the manufacturing industries, though we benefit only from 6 million tons,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz noted that there is an increase in the demand for petrochemicals by six percent. Replying to queries, he said that a new program will be launched, allowing factories to benefit from the current gas prices for a period of three years.

Taking part in the dialogue session, Minister of Industry Bandar Alkhorayef said: “The National Strategy for Industry carried many goals and did not focus on numbers only, but on advanced quality industries that we compete with globally. Around 300 officials in the private sector were hired to formulate the strategy, and each goal was based on detailed studies.”

The minister stressed that the importance of the strategy lies in drawing a road map for the future of the industry and doubling its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) three times, reaching SR900 billion.

Alkhorayef indicated that the benefits of the National Strategy for Industry will touch every member of society, as it will concern young people who are looking for quality job opportunities and creativity.

The industrial sector is one of the pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030, and receives great attention from the wise leadership, as the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program was launched and an independent ministry was established to take care of the sector.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched on Tuesday the National Industrial Strategy to realize the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030. The strategy focuses on 12 sub-sectors to diversify the Kingdom’s industrial economy while identifying more than 800 investment opportunities worth SR1 trillion.

The strategy aims to accomplish an industrial economy that attracts investments, which contributes to achieving economic diversification, and developing domestic product and non-oil exports, in line with the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030, as the industrial sector is one of the pillars of the Vision.

The strategy is also working to bring the total value of additional investments in the sector to SR1.3 trillion, and to increase exports of advanced technology products by about six times, in addition to creating tens of thousands of quality jobs of high value.

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