Summit participants discussed the kingdom's efforts to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil, and focus on strengthening sectors such as technology
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to add over $266b to the Saudi economy, with $240b coming from indirect wholesale, retail and manufacturing contributions, according to analysis by global consultancy A.T. Kearney.
The findings were presented at a recent summit in Riyadh which was held by A.T. Kearney and Saudi researchg group Al Aghar.
The summit saw policymakers and industrial and technology leaders outline initiatives that will allow the kingdom to benefit from advances in technology to diversify and strengthen its economy away from a reliance on oil.
It focused on critical challenges facing the country, such as ways of benefitting from the physical, biological and digital technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Among those in attendance were Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Dr. Lama Sulaiman, Vice Chair, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Saudi Arabia has recently invested heavily in a number of sectors to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil, but technology is of utter importance, according to Mauricio Zuazua, partner at A.T. Kearney.
“Under the vision of HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, technology is high up on the agenda for the kingdom. The Fourth Industrial Revolution future of production can add significant value to the kingdom and will significantly impact the way we live our lives and do business,” he said.
The summit also addressed issues such as localisation, trade, investment, small and medium-sized enterprises and human capital and skills.
It will contribute to the kingdom’s preparations to take on a key role in the new digital economy, according to general manager at Al Aghar Group, Zuhair Maghrabi.