During the scheduled visit of His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Crown Prince and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs to China, Huawei; a leading global ICT solutions provider, received on Wednesday August 31 2016 an investment license from his excellency Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment, as part of the activities of the Forum held by Aramco in Beijing to introduce the Kingdom’s vision 2030.
Huawei, represented by Pang Jimin, Director of Huawei Global Government Affairs, received the license to start the Company’s business in the Kingdom with a 100% ownership privilege. After submitting a comprehensive action plan to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) that includes several initiatives to contribute to the localization of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in the Kingdom, the new license would allow the company to sell its products directly in the Saudi market.
This is the first commercial license in the field of ICT in the Kingdom, and it is also the first commercial license in Saudi Arabia to a Chinese company.
His Excellency Minister of Commerce and Investment explained that granting the license to Huawei was based on the regulations and conditions approved by the Council of Ministers to license foreign companies to invest in the wholesale and retail trade sectors with a 100% ownership. The Minister also reiterated his keenness to attract and empower qualitative investments in the promising sectors and stimulate international companies in the target sectors to invest and guarantee all the necessary facilities to help them implement the commitments and initiatives to promote the investments in the Kingdom in order to contribute to the achieving the Kingdom’s strategic vision 2030.
Mr. Ramadan Ding, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Company in Saudi Arabia, stated:
“Huawei is proud to be in the market of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1999, where we have launched the latest technological innovations, in addition to our support to young talents by investing to improve their skills through establishing a technology center . We look forward to future achievements and transforming ideas into reality using our latest innovations and the confidence of our customers in order to support the Kingdom’s vision 2030”.
Mr. Ding indicated that Huawei will immediately start implementing all the requirements and regulations according to the action plan submitted to SAGIA.
An action plan has been approved by SAGIA and Huawei. The plan stipulates that Huawei will establish an exhibition showcasing innovations, arrange an annual and quarterly competition in the Kingdom to encourage young talents to innovate; in order to make this exhibition a platform for innovations, foster small and medium companies, establish a center for ICT competencies which aims to train 4,500 of the qualified professionals in the ICT sector in the coming three years; including 900 Saudi people in the field of ICT, as part of the social responsibility activities of the Company to improve the Saudi competencies in ICT and finally to build a showroom for retail sales; in addition to three service centers.
Huawei will focus on building effective partnerships with local distributors and enhancing local content through its purchases from the local market at 300 million Saudi Riyals in the coming five years. In addition, the company will focus on maintaining and promoting its alliances with the leading telecommunication companies, as well as investing heavily in the creative brands and local marketing activities.
A delegate from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment visited Huawei’s center for research and development in Beijing. The delegation expressed their appreciation to the company for expanding its investments in the Kingdom and its decision to establish a center for innovation. They also maintained that the Kingdom’s vision 2030 focuses on the importance of promoting creativity and innovation in the universities, up skilling graduates for the job market and training the Saudi students, either through laboratories in universities or through its new center.
It is worth mentioning that the size of the ICT market in the Kingdom is estimated to be around 135 billion Saudi Riyals with a growth rate of 3.8% per annum. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered to be one of the largest consumer markets for Huawei in the Middle East. The number of employees in the Kingdom is currently more than 1,000 male and female employees.