The volume of investment in the building and construction sector in the Kingdom is poised to jump to SR1.12 trillion by 2016 from the current level of SR750 billion, local media quoting local investors said.
More than 60 percent of basic building materials, including cement, rebar, water tanks, doors and windows, are easily accessible in the local markets. Only items like certain electrical and sanitary ware items are not easily available, Al-Eqtesadiah daily said.
The construction sector provides good job opportunities and is second in terms of contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) after the oil sector with its share at 16.5 percent in 2012, the investors said, adding that the increase in number of projects being implemented would push up investment volumes in the sector.
The investors, however, voiced apprehensions that the national companies (contractors) will not be in a position to implement such mega projects due to labor shortage and pile-up of stalled projects.
Ali Fahmi, regional manager of Zamil Industries Co. in the Eastern Region, said the Saudi market was characterized by the presence of national firms specialized in building and construction which have remarkably contributed to the implementation of many housing and commercial projects.
Fahmi, one of the participants at the Build Expo in Dammam, expects many GCC and Arab firms to enter the Saudi market to implement mega projects earlier announced by the Ministry of Housing and other government projects.
Ahmed Al-Husaini, head of marketing at Husaini Trading Company, said Saudi tank manufacturing plants can meet 80 percent of Saudi market needs, including polyethylene or fiber glass material products.
It may be recalled that the Build Expo was opened at Dhahran International Exhibition Center in Dammam last Monday and is to conclude on Thursday. Earlier, a series of work papers explored challenges facing the construction sector, and expertise and viewpoints were exchanged in this regard.