General Electric Co. announced on Monday that it had deals with Saudi Arabia worth over $1.4 billion which would double the business’s workforce in the country to 4,000 employees by 2020.
GE said that the series of projects costing $1 billion that it will complete will be undertaken with the Saudi Arabia Industrial Investments Co. by 2017. The local partner was created by royal order in 2014 to boost the manufacturing industry in the country. GE’s agreement with the organization will help the company develop industry and manufacturing in the kingdom, and at the same time, create jobs for the younger generation in Saudi Arabia.
The development of a manufacturing facility dedicated to the marine and energy industries is expected to cost another $400 million. The facility is aimed to operate by 2020 and will provide over 2000 jobs. According to GE, an additional $2 billion worth of projects could be added after 2017.
GE has announced other projects in the kingdom in which it did not state monetary values which include helping the local aviation repair industry, providing digital services to factories, manufacturing LED lights and training for youths in the kingdom.
Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, said that the company is expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia and is doing so in “a new and visionary way.”
“Together, we will create quality jobs for Saudi youth…boost exports, enhance economic competitiveness and support the vision and aspirations of Saudi Arabia,” according to Immelt in a statement.
The deal with GE is included in the country’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy and slowly move away from its dependence on oil production and export. Deputy Crown Prince Mahammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, said that the plan also includes a floating stake in Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest oil company. The kingdom also includes a plan to create one of the world’s largest government investment funds.
Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister and chairman of Aramco, Khaled al-Falih met with Immelt on Monday according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The local press divulged no details between the arrangements made between GE and the kingdom.
“We are delighted in Saudi Arabia that GE is supporting the kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the new plan for economic growth,” said al-Falih in a statement.
Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE has been operating in Saudi Arabia for over 80 years and has over 2,000 employees in the country working in a variety of industries including health care, oil, utilities and transportation.
The kingdom welcomes additional jobs for its population of 28 million who are struggling with unemployment and providing its young men and women opportunities in the private sector. The oil price slump affected the kingdom and has nearly given the country a $100 billion deficit in the last year whilst the country perceives an $87 billion deficit for this current year.