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Another promising sector is renewable energy, which will be a long-term, multibillion market, delegates heard. Factors driving the market are the growth in energy demand and development of the low carbon economy, along with ample solar and wind resources, Vision 2030 renewable energy targets and the decline in global renewable energy costs. Reforms such as the creation of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office, which is progressing the renewable energy programme, and the possibility for 100 per cent foreign ownership of IPPs are also spurring development. The infrastructure and regulations are being developed to meet the 9.5GW renewable energy target. A wind project is going through final tender and a raft of new tenders will be coming out in the next few months. There are opportunities at all levels and points of entry, with opportunities for smaller firms, for example as specialist suppliers. Net metering regulations are in place, creating opportunities for rooftop solar. Energy efficiency is also a big focus, with opportunities in areas such as retrofitting and energy management.
With the Vision 2030 focus on job creation and attracting investment, the importance of developing the nation?s skills was underlined, with opportunities in capacity building, vocational training, private education and lifelong learning.
It was stressed that the kingdom is looking for long-term partners who can commit to having a local presence, sharing technology and providing jobs.
The SBJBC Co-Chairs stressed the commitment of the UK government to support the Kingdom?s Vision 2030, and the initiatives the SBJBC has already taken to promote knowledge exchange and business cooperation in key Vision 2030 sectors, following the visit to the UK in March by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
These include SBJBC?s successful SME Forum in London in April for Saudi and British Tech-Entrepreneurs, and its participation in the newly established private sector groups under the UK-Saudi Strategic Partnership launched in March.
Future SBJBC events were also highlighted, including a UK Technology & Smart Cities mission to Saudi Arabia in November 2018, and a further Privatisation and PPP Roundtable.
For further information see the website at www.sbjbc.org.