Prince Abdulaziz addressing the 7th iktva Forum and Exhibition

Saudi Aramco signed more than 100 agreements worth $7.2 billion to help advance a diverse, sustainable and globally competitive industrial ecosystem on Day 1 of the 7th In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) Forum and Exhibition.

The localisation programme has grown steadily, having achieved 63 per cent local content in 2022, up from 35 per cent in 2015, the year it was launched.

More than 10,000 visitors and 290 companies participated on Day 1 at the event that was held under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, and attended by the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

During the event, Saudi Aramco also launched the Aramco Digital Company, a wholly owned subsidiary, which aims to accelerate digital transformation within the Kingdom and the Mena region.

Ahmad Al-Sa’adi, Aramco Executive Vice-President of Technical Services, said: "The launch of Aramco Digital Company is a great example of such innovation in action, providing state-of-the-art AI and emerging technology expertise in a vital sector of the economy."

Meanwhile, 13 winners were also recognised with iktva excellence awards at the forum.

These were SLB for Best in Overall iktva (Services), Nesma and Partners Contracting for Best in Overall iktva (Construction), Siemens Energy for Best in Overall iktva (Manufacturing), Halliburton for Best in Training & Development, Baker Hughes for Best in Supplier Development, ARO Drilling for Best in Saudisation (Services), Cameron Al Rushaid for Best in Saudisation (Manufacturing), JGC Gulf International for Best in Exports (Services), Jubail Energy Services Company (JESCO) for Best in Exports (Manufacturing), Samsung Saudi Arabia for Best in ESG, Engineering Corner for Inspection for Best SME Award, Saudi Geophysical for Best SME Award, and Techno Rubber for Best SME Award.

Aramco also signed MoUs with several companies, including a strategic partnership agreement with Zoom; Taulia for collaboration in implementing supplier financing solutions; joint venture agreement with DHL to offer procurement and supply chain services; the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia for the development and promotion of investment opportunities and the regional headquarters programme; Accenture for system integration and digital solution services; Hassana Investment Company for the establishment of a facility management national champion; and an agreement with Achilles for the development and localisation of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) rating services.

The iktva programme has attracted more than 150 investments into the Kingdom including products manufactured for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, 16 national training centres (NTCs) have been established in 10 cities, covering more than 60 trades.  To date, they have graduated more than 48,000 Saudi nationals.