Saudi Arabia has launched a new logistics zone open to private investors in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, as part of a wider industrial initiative to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs for Saudi nationals, reported Reuters.
Nabeel al-Amudi, the Saudi Minister of Transport, said that as the biggest logistics zone in the country, the port is expected to turn Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub and create 10,000 direct jobs.
The al Khomra zone—which will support activities around shipping, freight distribution and transport of goods—extends over 2.3 million square metres in Jeddah, home to one of Saudi Arabia’s largest ports.
The new zone is part of the broader National Industrial Development and Logistics programme (NIDLP), which aims to create 1.6 million jobs and attract investments worth SAR 1.6 trillion ($427 billion) over the next decade.
Under its ambitious reform strategy, the Kingdom seeks to have the private sector operate much of its transport infrastructure, including airports and seaports, with the government keeping a role as regulator.
Saad al-Khalb, the President of the Saudi Ports Authority, said that investment in the logistics zone in Al-Khomra and other ports will total SAR 7 billion.