The GCC project awards expanded during the first three months of the year despite global economic challenges such as the financial sector turmoil, elevated inflation, and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, according to Kamco Invest, a non-banking financial powerhouse with one of the largest AUMs in the region.

The total value of GCC contracts awarded increased by 54.7% y-o-y during Q1 to $29.9 billion as compared to $19.3 billion last year spearheaded by the Saudi market which alone accounted for 44.6% of the contracts awarded in the region.

This was the second highest quarterly project awards since the start of 2022, stated the report.

All GCC project markets witnessed y-o-y project awards growth during Q1-2023 except for Bahrain which remains the smallest project market in the region, said the report by Kamco Invest.

Saudi Arabia remained the largest projects market in the GCC during Q1-2023, it stated, adding the kingdom's project awards recorded 17.9% growth during the quarter to reach $13.3 billion over $11.3 billion last year.

KSA’s growth in contracts during the quarter was mainly fueled by Saudi Aramco bumper profits during FY-2022 which ballooned to $161.1 billion.

Aramco’s capex is expected to grow 20% during 2023 as the energy giant undertakes its mission to build its long-term oil and gas production potential, it stated.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar jointly represented 84.1% of the overall projects in the GCC.

On the UAE scenario, Kamco Invest said the project awards more than doubled to reach $10 billion during the quarter while Kuwait’s contract awards reached $1.8 billion compared to $407 million last year recording the highest percentage y-o-y contract awards increase in the region during the quarter.

In terms of sector classification, the chemical sector witnessed the biggest increase in the value of projects awarded during the year recording $4.7 billion y-o-y increase in new contract awards to hit $5.7 billion during Q1, it added.

Kamco Invest pointed out that the growth in the GCC project awards during this quarter has been partly fueled by the determination of the GCC countries to diversify their economies away from hydrocarbons.

GCC member states have backed and invested in projects in the industrial sector such as aluminum, steel, and other industrial equipment manufacturing projects, stated the report.

For instance, Saudi Arabia plans to invest $453.2 billion in its National Industrial Development & Logistics Program by 2030.

The UAE has eleven initiatives in its industrial strategy which covers 11 sectors and forecasts its industrial sector’s GDP contribution to reach $81.7 billion by 2030, it stated.

In Kuwait, the government streamlined 164 programs and projects for its national industrial strategy with $100 billion earmarked for development through public-private partnerships.-TradeArabia News Service

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