With the passage of time and the rapid changes in the socioeconomic environment, the Kingdom needed to change its economy from relying solely on exporting oil and basic petrochemicals into a more diversified and integrated one that relies on the Kingdom’s abundant hydrocarbon and mineral resources to produce a wide range of end products. For this purpose, the National Industrial Clusters development Program (NICDP) was established.
To this end, the government identified several industrial clusters that it plans to develop to international standards. These industries include automotive, home appliances, minerals and metal processing, solar energy and plastics & packaging. These industries should diversify the economy and create jobs for the growing population of 27 million people the majority of which are under 30 years old.
For example, Industrial Clusters’ targets for 2020 include making KSA the service hub for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to export plastics and packaging worldwide, making KSA a world top-10 exporter of plastics; and creating and sustaining 17,000 additional plastics and packaging sector jobs.