Arab News, Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023 | Rajab 8, 1444
Saudi Aramco signs agreements worth $7.2bn at iktva Forum
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabian Oil Co.
signed deals valued at around $7.2 billion at the seventh edition of
the In-Kingdom Total Value Add Forum in Dhahran on Monday.
During the forum, the company also launched Aramco
Digital Co. to accelerate its digital transformation efforts.
“I am proud to announce a major new initiative in
digital transformation with the launch of the Aramco Digital Company today. We
are planning to invest $1.9 billion over the next three years, making it the
biggest Aramco investment in digital to date, while adding value to the
Kingdom’s digital ecosystem,” Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO Amin Nasser
Saudi Arabia will be a land of opportunities for
investors but “truly a Kingdom of opportunities for all,” he stressed.
Commenting on the launch of the company, Ahmad A.
Al-Sa’adi, Aramco executive vice president of technical services, said: “The
launch of Aramco Digital Company is a great example of innovation in action,
providing state-of-the-art AI and emerging technology expertise in a vital
sector of the economy.”
The energy giant inked over 100 agreements and
memorandums of understanding on the first day of the event, which runs until
Feb. 2 and is held under the theme “Accelerating Future Success.”
During the event, Aramco signed a strategic
partnership agreement with Zoom, as well as struck a deal with Taulia Inc. to
implement supplier financing solutions.
The company also entered into a definitive
agreement with DHL to form a joint venture and offer procurement and supply
chain services and partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry
of Investment to develop and promote investment opportunities.
Another agreement signed by Aramco during the
event was with Accenture to accelerate system integration and digital solution
It also reached a deal with Achilles to develop
and localize environmental, social, and governance rating services.
The Aramco chief told the audience that the iktva
program achieved 63 percent local content in 2022, up from 35 percent in 2015
when it was initially launched. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin
Salman later said he hoped that the local content would reach 85 percent by
“Nothing would be possible without the outstanding
commitment of our suppliers to localization in the first seven years of iktva.
It has made Aramco’s businesses more cost-efficient, more resilient, and even
more reliable while sharing the rewards we promised,” Nasser told the crowd.
“My generation can be proud of passing on a
world-leading, integrated energy business, as well as pioneering work on
decarbonization and putting Aramco at the heart of lower carbon businesses, such
as blue hydrogen, renewables, and more sustainable materials,” he said.
The forum highlights collective localization
efforts in key focus areas including digital space, sustainability, industrial,
and manufacturing sectors.
“The local supplier ecosystem is a top priority
for Aramco as well as a major contributor to the Kingdom’s economy. Through this
mega program we are helping to create a culture of innovation and provide
high-quality jobs for our growing population,” added Al-Sa’adi.
The iktva program encourages the establishment of
international companies’ regional headquarters in the Kingdom. Since its
inception, more than 150 investments have been made within the Kingdom,
including products manufactured for the very first time in Saudi Arabia. The
company has also established 16 national training centers in 10 Saudi cities,
covering more than 60 trades. To date, more than 48,000 Saudi nationals have
graduated from these centers, Al-Sa’adi said.
A presentation was also made on the first day of
the event highlighting the role of Saudi women and their achievements in their
Following the presentation, Prince Abdulaziz joked
that the dozen or so exceptional women shown in the video will soon be taken
from Aramco and employed by the ministry in Riyadh.
“The young ladies that you saw, I'm sure by next
year you will find them in Riyadh working in the ministry,” the energy minister
told the audience that burst into laughter.
“The vital role of the Ministry of Energy is to
act as an enabler and the driver of the localization program. We are in constant
contact with all other elements of the ecosystem and stand by or stand ready
with other government entities to support, encourage and incentivize them to
redouble their efforts,” Prince Abdulaziz said.
The first day of the event attracted more than
10,000 visitors and over 290 companies took part in the exhibition space.