Session (1): Vice-Ministerial & Executives Panel

Saudi Arabia is a land rich in natural resources that could be exploited to develop the country into an industrial powerhouse. Among other minerals, the Arabian Shield is known to possess rich deposits of chrome, manganese, tin and, most importantly, iron. Coupled with its substantial natural gas reserves, this makes the kingdom a prime potential location for steelmaking and downstream investment. However, the pace of mineral exploitation and availability of natural gas for industry have been major issues. What actions need to be taken in order to resolve these issues, and what more can the government do to adopt enablers that support the provision of raw materials locally and push for the development and structuring of the national iron and steel industry? Increasing non-oil exports is one of the targets of Saudi Vision 2030, and Saudi steel mills have expanded foreign trade significantly in recent years. What can authorities do to support this further? The Saudi rules of origin decree has meanwhile limited volumes of steel coming from abroad. What was the intention of this decree and what has been the impact since its introduction? How have supply chain disruptions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine impacted the Saudi steel industry, and what more can be done to alleviate these disruptions? Will the Ukraine war have any longer-term consequences for Saudi Arabia’s economy and steel industry, in particular, and how can these be exploited and/or resolved? What are Saudi Aramco’s plans to tackle lower future oil use in light of the decarbonization trend? What are the prospective investments in the iron and steel industry that will provide a base for economic diversification? The session will bring together Saudi government deputy ministers and executives from key strategic companies in the Kingdom to discuss the current landscape and future prospects for industry and economic diversification in Saudi Arabia.

Key Themes:

  1. Saudi progress on mineral exploitation – Wadi Sawawin iron ore deposit
  2. How can Saudi Arabia exploit it resources more efficiently to support steelmaking?
  3. Saudi Aramco/SABIC cooperation progress since takeover – has this changed steel sourcing?
  4. Saudi natural gas capacity investments to meet growing demand
  5. The enablers available for structuring the national iron and steel industry and stimulating its growth and expansion
  6. What challenges and opportunities have arisen for Saudi Arabia as a result of the war in Ukraine, and how can these be tackled?
  7. How do SABIC and Maaden contribute to economic diversification?
  8. Options to stimulate foreign investment in the Saudi iron and steel industry
  9. Measures to alleviate supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19
  10. Saudi Arabia’s export push – what support is government providing?
  11. Impact of rules of origin decree on Saudi steel industry and manufacturing

(Order according to alphabetical sequence)

Ahmed Ezz

Founder & Chairman ​

Fahad Al Abdul Kareem

Vice President of the Industrial Services

H.E. Khalid Al-Mudaifer

Vice Minister for Mining Affairs

H.E. Osama Al-Zamil

Vice Minister

Vinay Shroff

Chief Marketing Officer


Talat Hafiz

Economic Columnist & Banking Expert