(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Aramco has allocated SR470 billion for the development of new oil projects, exploration, maintenance and other related engineering services in the next four years (2014-18), local media quoted a top official as saying.
Abdullah Al-Warthan, manager of projects and strategic purchasing, said the volume of spending for the leading companies in a two-year period (2011-13) on local projects amounted to SR160 billion.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Al-Ahsa Investment Forum 2013.
Al-Warthan said the volume of spending for the leading companies in a two-year period (2011-13) on local projects amounted to SR160 billion.
The Aramco official said that the local market would witness positive development through the creation of 900,000 jobs if 55 percent of these spending was given to local firms.
The volume of Aramco's business dealings with Ahsa-based firms reached SR1 billion in 2013 including 26 factories, 34 material suppliers and 180 contractors and service providers, he said.
He stressed the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the provision of jobs and support to the national economy.
The SME sector provides 70 percent of jobs in the developed countries while its contribution in the Kingdom does not exceed 30 percent, he said.
For his part, Ahmed Al-Khuwaitir, executive director of business development at Saudi Aramco, said the volume of spending would reach 125 billion (SR469 billion) in the next four years.
Saudi Aramco's projects are meant to serve energy, develop lands, recruit national cadres, enhance the culture of free business, and support the SMEs, he said.
He said Aramco has set up "Waed" Center to boost entrepreneurial innovation and the establishment of quality SMEs, facilitate regulatory measures and provide consultancy services to any project whereby small-scale enterprises could obtain all chances of growth and development.
It is to be recalled that the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center Company Ltd. (Waed LLC) supports entrepreneurship through: pre-funding support, funding through debt or equity financing and post-funding support.
Al-Khuwaitir said Saudi Aramco had adopted initiatives to build enterprising Saudi cadres who could create new jobs working with companies with a view to expanding business opportunities and creating direct and indirect jobs poised to reach 300,000 in the next 15 years.