By: Amani Zaher / Forbes Middle East
Saudi Aramco has selected 140 investment opportunities in the SME sector worth $16 billion.
The Saudi oil giant announced that the investments will empower companies and help to localize innovation and the latest technologies in many sectors serving the oil and gas industry.
The announcement came as Saudi Aramco and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost the SME sector in the kingdom.
Saudi Aramco spends about $45 billion on services and goods from SMEs, which support local and international suppliers.
In December 2015, Saudi Aramco launched the IKTVA (in-Kingdom Total Value Add) program to increase the company’s energy goods and services supply chain to 70% local content by 2021.
Last November, the world's largest oil producer signed $27.5 billion for a total of 31 commercial collaborations with suppliers. Currently, around 51% of each riyal Saudi Aramco earmarks for materials and services is spent locally.
IKTVA participation is mandatory for every Saudi Aramco supplier, as the program aims to create thousands of jobs and export 30% of local energy goods and services output by 2021.