In a world, and particularly a region, that has seen huge political and economic change in recent years, to some Saudi Arabia may appear to be a resolute and unchanging nation.
And stability is a watchword for the Kingdom – change is something that is welcomed, but rapid change is eyed cautiously.
And change is happening.
Social change; a move toward better healthcare and welfare provision is part of a process that sees Saudi Arabia planning for a future less reliant on oil.
It’s a future that seeks to move the economy from being government-led to being more market-led. It’s one that will see a growth in employment and new consumers that will support a diversified economy.
In keeping with the gradual changes preferred by the Kingdom, the changes we’re seeing seek to build on existing skills and experience, with both metals and mining, and water and wastewater developing quickly. I’ve often heard it said, in fact, that water is the new oil.
Our direct experience would seem to support this shift in focus. Five years ago, Rockwell Automation worked predominantly in the oil and gas sector here, but in the last two to three years our client mix has changed.
We’re still working closely with oil producers, providing the benefit of global experience in automation, safety and control to help it become more efficient and productive.
Now we’re also working on large scale minerals and mining projects, power generation, and on world-leading water and wastewater applications.
Manufacturing in Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be overlooked either. The food and beverage sector continues to grow to meet the demands of the local population, and the drive for productivity and sustainability is present here too.
We’re helping more and more local manufacturers to undertake The Connected Enterprise principles that underpin the benefits to be gained from the IIoT.
The Kingdom has no intention of being left behind as it diversifies to meet the demands of a more market driven economy.
The opportunity for industry beyond oil in Saudi Arabia has not come about by chance. The Kingdom has its sights set firmly on a diversified economy and is producing a “national transformation plan” with the help of blue-chip consultants including McKinsey.
In typical fashion, alongside the social changes happening in the Kingdom, the change will be gradual and thought through, but far from resolute and unchanging, Saudi Arabia is embracing economic development, and it’s a good time for industry here.
Visit our web site to find out more about how Rockwell Automation is helping Saudi Arabia look beyond oil.