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Wa'ed , GE join hands to promote SMEs in energy, manufacturing
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 10 - 2012

GE has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Wa'ed (the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center Company), a new wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, the fully integrated global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, to serve as a major developer, financer and incubator of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia.
Through the new partnership, GE will work with Wa'ed to further drive the Kingdom's SME sector and develop a solid supply chain in manufacturing and Services in the energy sector to meet the needs of local, regional and global customers. GE will also partner with the SMEs, developed by Wa'ed, to enhance their competencies as potential suppliers of the company in the energy sector, underlining its commitment to support the goals of Saudi Vision 2020 to promote human capital development and strengthen economic diversification in the Kingdom.
Saudi entrepreneurs, males and females, can present their business proposals online through the Wa'ed website. This will then be analyzed for potential support, and Wa'ed is funding projects through equity partnership and debt financing. Wa'ed is offering intensive training to applicants from across the Kingdom in major cities such as Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah.
Fahad A. Al-Semari, Managing Director of Wa'ed, said “one of Wa'ed's major initiatives is developing SMEs in the energy sector and its supporting activities to enable the development of a competitive Saudi energy sector. Wa'ed will be working with GE to identify opportunities in the local market to develop new local start-ups and support the development of existing SME suppliers to expand and localize international suppliers. We are hopeful that our MOU with GE will be one of many to come with major companies supporting the energy sector in the Kingdom”
Al-Semari added: “We encourage young Saudis to submit their ideas which will be supported by Wa'ed in formalizing business plans and obtaining potential funding. The partnership with GE, a long-term partner of Saudi Aramco, opens doors for new opportunities for these SMEs in the energy sector, helping them strengthen the Kingdom's supply chain.”
Hisham Bahkali, GE's President & Chief Executive Officer for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “Our partnership with Wa'ed builds on our long relationship with Saudi Aramco over the past several decades. The goals of Wa'ed complement our growth strategy for the Kingdom, where we are focused on nurturing local talent and promoting economic diversification in line with our commitment to the Saudi Vision 2020, led by multiple partnerships.
“The MOU will enable us to identify and develop Saudi talent to be partners in our operations, especially in serving our clients not only from the region but also in global markets. This will strengthen the energy supply chain by creating local enterprises.” – SG

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