Vision 2030 offers ‘Opportunities for All’

Saudi Arabia’s transformation relies on people and skills, as much as technology

Tags: FranceOrange Business ServicesSaudi ArabiaVision 2030
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Vision 2030 offers ‘Opportunities for All’ Vision 2030 and the NTP 2020 are bringing new opportunities to Saudi people, says Mohammad Turki Al Otaibi.
By  Mohammad Turki Al Otaibi Published  May 28, 2018

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 have clearly set out the country's ambitious plans, which include encouraging private sector participation and supporting inward investment in economic diversification and digital transformation. The strategy includes providing citizens with the knowledge and skills to meet the future needs of the labour market and create an attractive environment for both local and international investors and enhance confidence in the economy. The private sector and international organisations must rise to the challenge and ensure the transfer of skills and knowledge to the Saudi community, as part of the transformation program.

The National Transformation Program identifies national goals in areas including the creation of more than 450,000 jobs in the non-government sector by 2020, contributing to the Vision's goal of providing ‘opportunities for all'. Meanwhile, strengthening partnerships with the private sector will move the nation closer to fulfilling the country's goal of increasing the private sector's contribution to national GDP.

Saudi Arabia and France are working in partnership to support this aim and a new MOU signed between SABIC and Orange Business Services will help achieve it.

The recent Saudi France CEO Forum, held in April 2018 in Paris, France, was the platform for the signing of 20 MOUs between Saudi Arabia and France, worth over $18billion in total and which took place under the patronage of His Highness Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

The CEO Forum provided the opportunity for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of France and business leaders from both countries to celebrate their close bonds and to strengthen future strategic and commercial relationships, as both countries embark on transformative journeys.

I was personally honoured to be invited to attend the forum to represent Orange Business Services and lead the signing of an MOU with long-time partner and customer, SABIC - one of the global leading diversified manufacturing company and country's major industrial organisation. The MOU means that SABIC and Orange Business Services will co-operate to discuss collaboration on support for SABIC's NUSANED and MUAHAL future programs.

The ‘NUSANED' program opens the door to creating a SABIC ‘Accelerator Lab' for public-private partnerships, with a focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and IIoT security in the context of the petrochemical and manufacturing industries. Under the MOU Orange Business Services will provide support in two ways; firstly, for the design blueprint of the Accelerator Lab and secondly, by lending its experience as a global operator in how best to structure the business models that will accelerate the implementation of smart initiatives.

The ‘SABIC MUAHAL' program focuses on the development of skills and Human Capital with the objective of improving efficiency through mutual exchanges of best practice, experience, skills and knowledge inside its technical and business domains.

Orange Business Services will lend its expertise and experience in relation to establishing best practice in digital transformation of business models and strategies, and the two companies will evaluate the potential to develop and train a local industrial workforce for future planned investment, as well as considering launching a ‘Joint Exchange of Talents Program'. It is hoped that the program will come to symbolize the vitality of the co-operation between SABIC and Orange and act as a catalyst to developing talents inside both companies.

With its global operations, ranging from the Middle East to North America to China and East Asia, SABIC is uniquely positioned to leverage its global resources and experience to support Saudi Vision 2030. Orange Business Services has been privileged to partner with SABIC to deliver and manage strategic critical services, including the delivery of a global Wide area network across 50 countries; SABIC has also managed outsourcing of its IT infrastructure in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific to Orange. A global framework agreement with Orange to provide telepresence, LAN, WLAN and IPT was signed as recently as 2018.

French companies have significant resources available to support Saudi Arabia in reaching the objectives outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030, including leveraging French expertise in technology and innovation. Technology is a key enabler and driver of numerous changes, including developing the nation's infrastructure, part of Vision 2030.

Orange Business Services is already delivering a full range of Smart Cities Large Systems Infrastructure consulting and design services in support of some of the major urban regeneration in Saudi Arabia including for the iconic King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), and Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), the master developer of the world's tallest tower- Jeddah Tower.

The Saudi France CEO Forum also looked at broader mutual collaboration with start-ups and technology innovation. In Saudi Arabia, the development of advanced and resilient communications infrastructure in KSA and the emergence and spread of IoT are focus areas for growth and development, while in France, the government has recently upgraded and reinforced its policies promoting business and R&D, under the ‘New Industrial France Programme' which generates momentum across a range of industrial solutions including sustainable cities, the data economy and smart objects, amongst others.

Digital technology will certainly play a vital role in the transformation of the Saudi economy but it's the Saudi people and their skills that will make the real and sustainable difference. Orange Business Services has operated in the Middle East for over 50 years and has three sales offices in the Kingdom to support business nationwide and beyond. We look forward to working in partnership with SABIC and Saudi Arabia towards Vision 2030 - and beyond.

Mohammad Turki Al Otaibi is Managing Director, Orange Business Services, Saudi Arabia.

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