SPEECH: Amin Nasser at the 2023 iktva Forum and Exhibition
Aramco president and CEO talks about taking “Made in Saudi Arabia” to a higher strategic level.
Speech given by Aramco president and CEO at the opening of the 2023 iktva Forum and Exhibition.
Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
As I just said in Arabic, we are honored once again by the presence of the Amir of the Eastern Province, His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz.
And this would not be iktva week without the Minister of Energy, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
His inspirational leadership has been crucial to the exceptional success of iktva.
I would also like to thank the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Bandar AlKhorayef, for his leadership, and the Kingdom-wide momentum he has generated through the Localization Council.
My thanks also to our Chairman, His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, for his leadership, and the clear passion he has for iktva.
And of course 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.
I am extremely delighted to say that, as of today, we have achieved 63 percent local content across our procurement.
And we are aiming for 70 percent by 2025.
Thank you all for your incredible help in really moving the needle.
Despite a challenging global environment, I believe 2023 will be a transformational year for our supply chain thanks to three compelling reasons.
First, with our recently announced Namaat program complementing iktva, we will take “Made in Saudi Arabia” to a higher strategic level this year.
The expanded scope includes six key sectors: sustainability; digitalization; industrial investments; manufacturing; infrastructure, and citizenship.
And with more and higher end goods and services available locally, and across the Kingdom’s industrial ecosystem, cost efficiency should be further improved while adding even more resilience and reliability to our operations.
Those who become actively involved in the much expanded scope, locate their R&D centers and regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia, transfer technology, and help us develop talented young Saudis will see the greatest rewards coming their way.
We also expect the combined power of iktva and Namaat to enable a much greater contribution to the diversification and industrialization of the Kingdom’s economy, and a stronger industrial ecosystem more broadly.
And this will further enhance our alignment with the most powerful strategic driver of economic and social progress in the Kingdom: Vision 2030.
So it is time to hit the accelerator.
That is why I am proud to announce a major new initiative in digital transformation with the launch of the Aramco Digital Company today.
The purpose of Aramco Digital is threefold: to reinforce our leadership position in energy industry AI; to drive digital innovation across wider Saudi industry; and to grow the Saudi digital economy through a network of partnerships, projects, and joint ventures.
We are planning to invest $1.9 billion dollars over the next 3 years, making it the biggest Aramco investment in digital to date, while adding value to the Kingdom’s digital ecosystem.
Second, we are determined to make the localization of our supply chain and associated in-Kingdom investments more sustainable as part of our contribution to climate protection.
We will be placing far greater focus on the use of more sustainable materials, such as those based on polymers, to complement high emission and hard-to-abate industries like steel, aluminum, and concrete.
Because without a successful Materials Transition global net-zero emission goals will not be met.
An intensified focus on ambitious CCUS technologies and projects is also important as success here would be critical to net-zero goals.
And those suppliers who also contribute to the Circular Carbon Economy will really stand out.
Third, the Kingdom is among the fastest growing economies in the world, the fastest in the G20, and set to become a one trillion dollar economy for the first time.
Every time I meet with international business leaders, they tell me how excited they are about the prospects for growth here, while many other economies are struggling.
And when they hear about the scale and pace of Aramco’s growth plans, with the largest capital program in our 90-year history, they understand what a land of opportunities this is.
However, profitable and sustainable growth is not possible without the skills and talent of our people.
Ninety years of creating value at Aramco has taught us that.
It is also in our DNA that each generation should pass an inheritance they can be proud of to the next. Our pioneers passed us a world-class oil business and would be proud to see oil is still center stage.
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.
And in years to come, I am sure that today’s youth will look back with pride on how they created the game-changing technology to drive it all, and inspire those who come next.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is why I am so excited about 2023.
It signals a momentous expansion of our supply chain program, while contributing to and taking advantage of the Kingdom’s industrial ecosystem, and with an ever greater focus on sustainability.
Combined with the largest capital program in Aramco’s history, and the flourishing Saudi economy, I am confident that those who join us on the iktva express will see their opportunities and competitive advantages scale new heights.
And show the world that this is not just a land of opportunities for investors.
But truly a Kingdom of opportunities for all.