Program 2018 | Jeddah Economic Forum
06-07 May 2018
20- 21 Sha'ban 1439 H
\ Program 2018




First Session: National Industrial Development:

Background and discussion questions: Industry forms an important pillar of the Kingdom's promising economy and Vision 2030. In the manufacturing sector, the aim is to work towards localizing renewable energy and industrial equipment sectors. The country's goal is to localize over 50 percent of military equipment spending by 2030. The Kingdom will build an integrated national network of services and supporting industries that will improve its self-sufficiency and strengthen its defense exports, both regionally and internationally. Localization will be achieved through direct investments and strategic partnerships with leading companies in this sector.

  • What is the roadmap towards localizing renewable energy and industrial equipment sectors?
  • What kinds of structural reforms will be undertaken to stimulate private investments in industry?
  • How will strategic international partnerships be fostered and how will the competitiveness and productivity of Saudi Arabia's national companies be enhanced in industry?
  • Localizing a significant portion of the renewable energy value chain in the Saudi economy, including research and development and manufacturing is essential in order to reach an initial target of 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy. What are the incentives that will be created for investors?
  • How will the authorities guarantee the competitiveness of renewable energy through the gradual liberalization of the fuels market?
  • How will the legal and regulatory framework allow the private sector to buy and invest in the renewable energy sector?
  • How did others develop their manufacturing capacity over the decades such as Korea, Singapore, and China?




Dhuhr prayer / break


Second Session: Logistics

Background and discussion questions: Saudi Arabia aspires by 2030 to increase its global ranking in the Logistics Performance Index from 49 to 25 and ensure the Kingdom is a regional leader. Saudi Arabia will therefore maximize the benefits from its exceptional and strategic geographic position, agree new strategic partnerships to grow its economy and help Saudi companies to increase exports of their products. Saudi Arabia will leverage the close proximity of energy sources and its distinctive logistical offer to stimulate a new phase of industrialization and to catalyze exports and re-exports. Saudi Arabia will concentrate on its comparative advantages, national strengths and the areas that will assure leadership status. Initially, its priority will be to fully support major national companies, which have already gained a leading market share, by promoting their products and services regionally and globally, especially in the fields of oil, petrochemicals, banking, telecommunications, food, health care, and retail.

  • How will Saudi companies increase exports of their products via industrialization, exports and re-exports? What is the role of the state and how will the private sector's capacity be unleashed?
  • What will be the role of governance, leaner processes and more efficient customs systems and how will this be achieved over the next few years?
  • Will Saudi Arabia compete head to head with other regional logistics hubs that are more established and what will make its strategy a success?
  • How will logistical and trade exchanges be streamlined, further cementing Saudi Arabia's pre-eminent position as a major trade hub?
  • How will the authorities seek to support Saudi companies with promising growth opportunities so they develop into new regional and global leaders? What kind of viable incentives will the private sector have access to?
  • Vision 2030 aspires to raise the share of non-oil exports in non-oil GDP from 16% to 50%. This will require full support of Saudi Arabia's national industries, assisting them to market themselves abroad and to export their products. What concrete steps will be taken towards this goal?


Lunch break / asr prayer


Third Session: Improving Quality of Life

Background and discussion questions: Saudi Vision 2030 divides the Kingdom's quality of life aspirations into four dimensions: promoting culture and entertainment, living healthy and being healthy, developing cities and achieving environmental sustainability. Under Saudi Arabia's Lifestyle Improvement Program, Saudi Vision 2030 aims to enrich individuals' lifestyles by developing an ecosystem to support and create new options that boost citizens' and residents' participation in cultural, environment, and sports activities. This is in addition to other suitable activities that contribute to enhancing the quality of life of individuals and families, creating jobs, diversifying economic activity, and raising the status of Saudi Arabian cities so that they rank among the best cities in the world. In doing so, the Kingdom aims to especially increase public participation in sports and athletic activities, develop and diversify entertainment opportunities to meet population's needs and grow Saudi contribution to arts & culture.

  • What are ways that the can the private sector help generate revenues in the Saudi sports industry as it currently exists, including ticket sales, merchandising, sponsorships and media rights?
  • What role can SMEs play in the Saudi entertainment industry?
  • What are the challenges that the private sector faces in investing in Saudi Arabia's entertainment industry and quality of life programs?
  • How can social media and marketing be fully optimized to ensure maximum participation in Saudi entertainment programs?
  • What is Saudi Arabia's degree of readiness in terms of the necessary infrastructure of the entertainment, culture and sports sectors?
  • What mechanism can be created to measure satisfaction from overall cultural and entertainment offerings?
  • How does gender play a role in Saudi efforts to improve quality of life across the various dimensions?
  • What challenges might Saudi Arabia face in efforts to launch new entertainment options while simultaneously upholding its Islamic values?
  • What are Saudi Arabia's environmental sustainability goals and how can the private sector be involved?
  • What can Saudi Arabia learn from the Swedish, Spanish and American success stories in building thriving sports and entertainment industries and fostering a high quality of life and well-being?





Fourth Session: Enriching the Hajj and Umrah Experience

Background and discussion questions: Saudi Vision 2030 program to enrich the Hajj and Umrah experience aims to allow for the largest possible number of Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah and provide easier access to the holy mosques, improve the quality of services provided to Hajj & Umrah pilgrims, and enhance the spiritual and cultural experience of Hajj & Umrah pilgrims. Additional destinations are to be developed, and improved services are to be provided to visitors before, during, and after their visits to Mecca, Medina and the other holy sites. The program is also expected to present a foundation to ensure the relationship with the private sector and its active role in developing the economics of the sector. Officials aim to increase the number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims to 5 million and 15 million respectively by 2020, and hope to double the Umrah number again to 30 million by 2030. In addition, Vision 2030 aims to reach 1 million volunteers in the non-profit sector each year, especially to fill the needs in field guidance and translation, field operations and administration and health care.

  • How can Saudi Arabia utilize the high influx of annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrims to enhance other dimensions of the tourism industry by encouraging pilgrims to spend additional time and money at museums, luxury resorts and historical sites considering that most of the Kingdom's tourism development so far targets the affluent end of the market, while the biggest and fastest-growing pilgrim populations come from modest means? How can Saudi Arabia learn from the Malaysian success story in the "halal" tourism market to tap into this market?
  • What factors affect the private sector's willingness to invest in sectors involved in the Hajj and Umrah programs? What are the perceived risks and how can the Kingdom address them?
  • What role can technology, and especially mobile apps and e-services play in assisting pilgrims to comfortably perform their Islamic rituals?
  • What marketing strategies are necessary for Saudi Arabia to persuade Hajj and Umrah pilgrims to take advantage of travel and entertainment options beyond their pilgrimage?
  • What mechanisms can Saudi Arabia establish to regularly identify the evolving needs of pilgrims and their demand for specific services to better attract investment from the private sector?

How can Saudi Arabia continue to ensure efficiency and safety in the area surrounding the Grand Mosque as it rapidly increases the pilgrim capacity through the Grand Mosque Expansion Project?


Dhuhr prayer / break


Fifth Session: Public Investment Fund and Tourism

Background and discussion questions: Through the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund, Saudi Vision 2030 aims to create attractions that are of the highest international standards, improve visa issuance procedures for visitors, and prepare and develop historical and heritage sites. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has insisted that the private sector must drive sustainable tourism development taking into consideration economic, social, cultural and environmental dynamics. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage strategy prioritizes the domestic leisure tourism market, international Umrah/Hajj, and foreign markets. Targets include GCC states, other Arab neighbors, Muslim countries, and international special interest niche markets, such as ecotourism, nature-based tourism, cultural tourism, shopping-based tourism and establishing new markets based on sports, medical care, education, business and other attractions. It is a key policy objective underpinning the development of the domestic leisure tourism market to provide suitable tourism products and experiences within the Kingdom, to help reduce the currently large outflow of Saudis and funds to foreign tourist destinations.

  • What are the necessary reforms that Saudi Arabia must undertake in order to foster a business and investment climate that allows for a thriving tourism industry?
  • What mechanisms will be available to SMEs in the tourism industry to access finance?
  • How will Saudi Arabia continue to address the skills gap in the tourism industry, and encourage the training and development of future stakeholders?
  • How can technology play a role in enhancing Saudi Arabia's tourism sector, including the creation of digital marketing strategy, online reputation and use of social media, and m-tourism (the use of mobile devices throughout the tourism experience)?
  • What are the challenges that Saudi Arabia faces in attracting international tourists and how will the Kingdom mitigate those risks? For example, what steps will the Kingdom take to relax its visa policies? Will cultural conservatism act as a barrier in attracting international tourists?
  • Tourism can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. What steps is Saudi Arabia taking to protect its ecosystems in its plans to develop tourism along the Red Sea coast and other environmentally sensitive areas?
  • How will Saudi Arabia utilize its unique intangible cultural heritage to encourage tourism across its various regions? What resources will be available to allow tourists to engage with the culture, history, art, architecture, religion, and other elements that shape Saudi customs and traditions?

How did Switzerland develop its successful tourism industry, and what can Saudi Arabia learn from the Swiss model?


Final remarks / Closing Session

More details TBD