Abdulla M. Al Zamil, Chief Executive Officer of Zamil Industrial Investment Company (Zamil Industrial), participated as a keynote speaker at the 7th Arabian Business Forum held on 20 November 2012 in Dubai, UAE.
In his speech, Abdulla Al Zamil explored the increased regional investment in downstream industries in order to push the economic growth of the region and create jobs for young GCC nationals. He cited the example of a US$15 billion refinery, which recently launched in Saudi Arabia, creating only 1,000 jobs.
Al Zamil stressed that the governments in Saudi Arabia and Gulf states need to focus more on investing in downstream industries since they can no longer continue to rely on an oil-based economy amid changing geopolitical policy. “A decade-long population boom means the Saudi government can no longer afford to reduce unemployment by creating public sector jobs,” he said.
Al Zamil also noted that the future of Saudi Arabia and job creation lies in alternative energy and manufacturing, as the world will no longer depend on this region’s crude oil and regional governments have seen it coming.
Speaking about alternative and renewable energy, Al Zamil said that in the next ten to 20 years, two things will happen: there will be more concentration on downstream industries and the other is the concentration on creating a base for the alternative energy manufacturing supply chain.
The event featured a number of top speakers from across the Middle East. The Forum's panels explored the outlook of the region’s industrial and real estate sectors, sustainable job creation, and the major challenges surrounding the region’s manufacturing and industrial sectors. Discussions also highlighted some of the key characteristics of the Gulf economy, sectors that will drive growth domestically and internationally, and the risks and challenges that may impact growth and investment in the region.