Even as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lent its backing to Saudi Arabia’s economic reform to diversify away from crude oil this week, General Electric (GE) accounted a series of deals with Saudi Arabia worth over US$1.4 billion to boost the kingdom’s manufacturing industry.
Some US$1 billion worth of these deals are with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Co., while around US$400 million is earmarked for a forging and casting manufacturing facility that will cater to the marine and energy industries. For this project, GE will be joining forces with Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco.
GE also signed a memorandum of understanding to invest US$1 billion jointly with a major Saudi entity into water and aviation, among other segments, by 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal. Related: The Biggest Winner Of The Oil Bust: Interview With Aeromexico
GE has also intimated that there may be US$2 billion more in projects after this, the Boston Globe reported.
‘‘Together, we will create quality jobs for Saudi youth, ... boost exports, enhance economic competitiveness and support the vision and aspirations of Saudi Arabia,’’ GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement carried by the Boston Globe. Related: Argentina Makes Good On Debts With These Energy Giants
GE presently employs some 2,000 people in Saudi Arabia across seven major facilities and three offices. Its portfolio here also includes the largest gas turbine service facility in the world, launched in 2011.
On Thursday, the IMF came out publicly with support for Saudi Arabia’s economic reform plan while it deals with a budget deficit of US$98 billion in 2015, calling it “an appropriately bold and far-reaching transformation of the Saudi Arabian economy.”
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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