Siemens, Germany’s industrial giant, is in talks with Saudi Arabia for a role in the development of Neom, the $500bn special economic zone announced by the kingdom last month, its chief executive said.
“Of course I have been talking to people there [in the kingdom],” Joe Kaeser told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “Are we interested: absolutely and so are thousands of others. Are we capable of delivering a major part of the solution [for Neom]? Absolutely.”
Mr Kaeser, who is visiting the UAE capital for an internal company conference, said Siemens has a long established relation with Saudi Arabia and it is getting prepared to help Opec’s biggest oil producer achieve its economic diversification goals.
“I would not be too surprised if anytime soon, there would be a major announcement about the cooperation between the kingdom and Siemens on how to assist and help the kingdom in achieving the Vision 2030 goals, which Neom is part of,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, which is heavily dependent on sale of hydrocarbons for revenues, is pursuing a fiscal and economic reform agenda under the overarching Vision 2030 programme and aims to open up the biggest Arab economy to foreign investment. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, senior ministers and government officials hosted the who’s who of the global financial and business elite for three days in Riyadh last month and launched Neom, on day one of the Future Investment Initiative.
The metropolis overlooking the the Red Sea to the south and the Gulf of Aqaba to the west, will be backed by more than $500bn from the kingdom’s coffers, investments by its sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), and local as well as international investors. Saudi Arabia is set to bring a major global fund with access to a worldwide network of investors and major companies on board to drive the success of Neom. More info
By Massoud A Derhally and Sarmad Khan thenational.ae