Italian business leaders came together in Rome to gain insights and share knowledge regarding business opportunities between Saudi Aramco and its international partners.
Co-hosted by Confindustria - the General Confederation of Italian Industry - it was the first such investor forum of its kind to be held between Aramco and the Italian industrial entity, which represents the interests of over 113,000 companies throughout Italy.
The Forum sought to highlight the positive investor climate within Saudi Arabia, particularly in light of Aramco and the Kingdom's current Vision 2030 initiative, driven by Aramco's IKTVA program.
After a welcome speech from Confindustria's director Andrea Ketoff, the keynote speech of the event came from Aramco Overseas CEO Talal Al-Marri, who used his time to stress the value of international investment.
Al-Marri drew special attention to those areas in which co-operation and trade would be of mutual benefit to all parties. "We want to create supplier-focused partnerships" he stressed, "leading to investment stability and assurance, in support of Vision 2030; The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's vision for its future".
Greater details of the Vision 2030 programme were given by SAGIA's Ibrahim Alamari, while Meshari Otaibi, Chief Rep for Aramco's Milan office, gave an illuminating presentation on Aramco's Manufacturer Approval Process.
Elsewhere, Imran Hariri explained Saudi Aramco's In Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) program, via which Aramco aims to localise 70 per cent of its spend by 2021. This process is projected to generate over half a million jobs with the intent of enabling fully 30% of Saudi energy products to be exported. With a capital program valued at over $400bn, and drilling operations accounting for more than half of that number, the global potential for Saudi's energy sector made a convincing argument to those in attendance.
Kosai Alabdulkarim, Business Development Manager at the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, spoke on Saudi Technology Cities and Jaber Al-Thukair who gave a run through of Aramco's Service Sourcing process.
Delegates also heard from Italian voices with experience of Saudi industry. Antonio Monaco, Corporate Business Developer at Salini Impregilo, delivered remarks on "The experience of Italian companies: A Best Practice", highlighting the opportunities for investment in Saudi from an Italian perspective.
As Mr Al-Marri made clear in his address, the possibilities for enriching co-operation between Aramco and international investors have never been greater.
"Let this Forum be a chance for us both to find out our true potential as partners".
The Confindustria-Aramco Forum was yet another positive step toward realising this potential, with more such events planned for the year ahead.