The value of Saudi industrial exports reached SR162 billion by the end of 2012 compared to SR110 million in 1974, Director General of Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) Ali Al-Ayed said.
Addressing a GCC industrial event in Oman, Al-Ayed said Saudi industrial exports have achieved high growth rates averaging 20 percent per year in the period 1974-2012.
The 14th GCC Industrial conference convened in Muscat, Oman, on March 30-31 was themed “Industrial exports: prospects and challenges.”
It was organized by the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) in coordination with the Riyadh-based GCC general secretariat.
The SIDF chief attributed the robust growth of the industrial exports to the availability of hydrocarbons at preferential prices in addition to the conclusion of international and regional trade agreements to this end.
Plastic and chemical products accounted for 77 percent of the total industrial exports in that year, followed by food products at 8 percent, base metals (6 percent), and electric devices and equipment (2 percent), he told the conference.
He said the SIDF used to adopt a series of measures to boost industrial exports, including attraction of foreign investments which had an effective role in transferring experience and technical know-how.
SIDF has approved SR42.2 billion, or 38 percent of total loans, for the industrial projects, he said.
He also enumerated a series of challenges facing local industries, notably how to diversify production and export base for local industries, upgrade technical knowledge, minimize global competition on local products, and how to boost efficiency of export logistics services.
The SIDF chief explored a number of recommendations for the development of national exports, including creation of a national strategy to develop industrial exports, expansion of regional and international trade cooperation and spread of awareness among investors and officials on the importance of exports.