3M, a global science-based company that inspires creative collaboration, unveiled Monday the start of construction of its largest manufacturing facility in the Middle East and Africa region, which will be located in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The announcement was made during the ground breaking ceremony which 3M held in the Dammam 3rd Industrial City, in the presence of Saleh Al-Rasheed, director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority; H. C. Shin, 3M executive vice president for international operations, in addition to a number of government officials, 3M senior management, industry leaders as well as local and regional media.
“3M has plans to continue increasing our localization effort in Saudi Arabia,” said Shin. “As a global leader in developing innovative solutions, our goal is to play an important role in the Kingdom’s effort to diversify its economy through knowledge and technology transfer. We will work closely with the Saudi government to enhance our manufacturing investment plans, invest in specialized research and development centers, and create high-value, technically sophisticated jobs.”
Spread over 50,000 square meters, 3M’s manufacturing facility in Dammam will be built in three phases over a span of five years. By 2020, 3M aims to manufacture locally products related to air quality, identity management, oil and gas, corrosion protection as well as products related to infrastructure and healthcare markets. Initially covering the needs of the Saudi local market, 3M manufacturing facility will be developed to become a regional source of supply for other countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
“The opening of 3M’s manufacturing facility in Dammam today exemplifies its commitment to the Kingdom,” said Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, governor and chairman of the board of directors of SAGIA. “In addition to creating jobs for Saudis and locally manufacturing products, the research conducted and knowledge transferred at this site will pay further dividends to our partnership, creating win-win outcomes for both 3M and Saudi Arabia for years to come.”
The number of industrial cities supervised by MODON in KSA has more than doubled from 14 industrial cities in 2008 to 34 industrial cities by end of 2014 in all regions of KSA; an increase of nearly 145%. There is 178 million square meters of developed industrial sector properties in the industrial cities and the number of factories supervised by MODON has increased to 5,600 factories.
“When we look at the development of the industrial sector in KSA today, it is easy to observe that the industrial cities have been successful in attracting major global industrial players,” said Al-Rasheed. “We believe that having the first 3M manufacturing facility in the MENA region in Dammam 3rd Industrial City will have great positive impacts on the industrial sector constant growth and prosperity.”
With almost one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves, Kingdom is heavily dependent on its oil revenues. To diversify its economy and provide sophisticated employment opportunities to more Saudi nationals, the Kingdom is encouraging the growth of the private sector and foreign investment, especially in the vital sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, construction and healthcare.