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Manufacturing sector fuels industrial success in Saudi

Saudi manufacturing Reuters/Faisal al Nasser
80 new factories started production in Saudi in February with an investment of $1.1bn
  • Industrial production rose 6% year-on-year in February
  • 80 new factories opened in the kingdom
  • Mining and quarrying sectors grew 2% year-on-year

Manufacturing activity in Saudi Arabia increased by 17 percent year-on-year in February boosting overall growth in industrial production across the kingdom, alongside improvements in mining and quarrying and electricity and gas supplies.

The Saudi General Authority for Statistics (Gastat) found that in February the Industrial Production Index (IPI) rose 6 percent year-on-year.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (Mim) 80 new factories started production in the kingdom in February with an investment of SAR4.3 billion ($1.1 billion).

It revealed that 85 industrial licences were issued during the month, 86 percent of which were taken by small enterprises, 12 percent medium enterprises and micro enterprises at 2 percent.

Speaking at the Leap tech conference in February, Mim minister Bandar Alkhorayef said the kingdom was looking to become a world leader in additive manufacturing (3D printing) through the production of the raw materials, the development of engineering design capabilities and the localisation of the manufacturing services.

The increase in manufacturing was supported by 2.2 percent year-on-year growth in the mining and quarrying sectors in February 2022, as Saudi increased its oil production to more than 10 million barrels per day.

Bandar Alkhorayef of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral
Bandar Alkhorayef of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources

During the month the Mim invited local and international mining companies to bid for licenses on five exploration sites across the kingdom.

Opportunities worth $32 billion were on offer, according to Khalid Al Mudaifer, the kingdom’s vice minister for mining affairs.

The five sites range in size from 76 to 284 sq km, and the deposits include copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Saudi has shortlisted 13 local and international companies for the second licensing stage of the Muhaddad and Ar Ridaniyah exploration sites. 

In November last year Al-Khorayef said the kingdom was considering setting up a new metals and mining stock exchange index, similar to Australia’s ASX 300 Metals & Mining sub-index that lists metals and mining firms including producers of gold, steel and precious metals.

The number of mining complexes in Saudi Arabia reached 377 by the end of 2022, over 44,365 sq km across 13 regions.

Electricity and gas supplies increased by 13 percent in February.

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