By Fatima Muhammad
JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia plans to locally produce 16,000 items used by the armed forces orces by 2020, according to Maj. Gen. Atiya Al-Maliki, general manager of the General Department for Local Manufacturing at the armed forces.
Addressing a meeting on Wednesday at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), he said the long-term goal is to produce 50 percent of critical items used by the armed forces by 2030.
The meeting was organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense.
Al-Maliki called on the private sector to compete with imported products by providing high quality alternatives at affordable price.
He said his department is concerned about the manufacturing of repair parts and is working on a strategic plan in cooperation with the armed forces, the public sector and the private sector.
Imad Abdulqadir Al-Muhaidab, board member at the JCCI, said that there is a need to encourage local businessmen to invest in manufacturing.
He said there are 7,000 factories operating in the Kingdom with a capital of SR1 trillion.
There were one million workers in the manufacturing sector in 2015, he said.
Head of the industrial committee at the JCCI Ibrahim Batarji said they are keen to reduce challenges and remove obstacles that face investors in the industrial sector in Jeddah.