Economic forum to accelerate Jazan’s growth
A two-day economic forum opens in Jazan on Feb. 25 with the participation of government and business leaders to woo investors and accelerate the region’s growth.
Jazan Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Nasser will open the Jazan Economic Forum (JEF) as part of his administration’s efforts to attract domestic and foreign investment to the region.
Speakers include Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi, Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, SAGIA Gov. Abdullatif Al-Othman, and Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid Al-Falih.
“The forum will showcase investment opportunities in the Jazan Economic City and highlight national priorities of economic diversification, entrepreneurship, job creation and improved quality of life,” said an official statement.
SCTA chief Prince Sultan will give a keynote speech on the topic, “Quality of life: The ultimate goal.” He is likely to explain the commission’s efforts to promote domestic tourism and create jobs for Saudis as well as investment opportunities in the sector.
Sheikh Rafik Mohammed, chairman of Gammon Group, highlighted the significance of the economic forum, adding that it would be attended by a large number of foreign businessmen who are interested to invest in the Kingdom, especially in the newly developed Jazan Industrial City.
Mohammed said Indian business tycoon B.R. Shetty, CEO and managing director of New Medical Center Group, has received an invitation from Prince Turki bin Nasser, director of international trade at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and supervisor of Jazan Industrial City, to attend the forum.
The forum will have five sessions. The first session will focus on Jazan investment climate: Incentives, catalysts and global outlook, and will be moderated by Fahad Alturki, chief economist, Jadwa Investment. Mohanud Helal will speak on “One stop shop: Approvals and permits made easy, Nasser Murie on the local advantage and Abdulwahab Abu Dahesh on local partnerships for global competition.
The second session will focus on Jazan Economic City: Vision, strategy and value proposition, with Khalid Alskait as moderator. Suleman Bargan will present a paper on an extraordinary investment in world-class infrastructure, Abdullatif Abdulhadi on value proposition based on strong anchor industries and Chris Chao of AECOM on the master plan.
The third session will shed light on pioneer investors and Abdulelah bin Abdulaziz Alsheikh will be the moderator. Shoeil Al-Ayed, CEO of Solb Steel, Fadi Trabzuni, vice president Cristal, Hussein Fayz, managing director of Namariq, and Nayef Al-Anazi, consultant at the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals, will present research papers on various topics.
Leveraging public-private partnerships will be the topic of the fourth session, to be moderated by Saleh Al-Nazha. Yaser Mufti, general manager Saudi Aramco will speak on Pursuing excellence in entrepreneurship & SMEs development; Abdullah Al-Rabia on building a diversified economy; Azzam Shalabi on leveraging national programs for maximum impact; and Mubarak Al-Dossary on incentives offered by the Saudi government.
The fifth session will focus on mining opportunities and be moderated by Khalid Al-Ohali. Sultan J. Shawli, deputy minister for mineral resources, will be the keynote speaker and will highlight mining investment opportunities in Jazan and adjacent regions. Abdullah Al-Attas, assistant president for technical affairs of SGS, and Turky Al-Babtain of NICDP will address the session.
JEF aims at attracting investors to the Jazan Economic City. Covering an area of 106 sq. km, JEC occupies a strategic coastal location approximately 70km from Jazan City in a region known for its abundant natural resources.
“The vision is to build JEC on a diverse platform of heavy, medium and light industries, and a high quality of life that attracts and retains competitive companies and a dynamic work force,” an official statement said, adding that JEC would create more than 72,000 jobs over a period of 15 years.
Entrusted to Saudi Aramco for its development, the project will be carried out in three phases. Phase 1, which will be completed in 2017, focuses on building smart infrastructure that meets the energy, utilities, and transportation requirements of a diverse industry base, anchored by a multibillion dollar new refinery.
Among its features are a new port that will have the capacity to handle 400,000 barrels per day in feedstock supply and to export downstream products, and a substantial increase in energy supply (2,400MW). These developments in JEC will be complemented by several large-scale infrastructure projects that include a new airport and a 660km Jazan-Jeddah coastal railway.