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Liberty House hopes to play a role in Saudi’s new vision 2030

Liberty House hopes to play a role in Saudi’s new vision 2030

The global industrial group’s investment in the Middle East currently exceeds $100m

Global industrial group Liberty House – which is currently bidding to acquire the operations of Tata Steel UK – is looking to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, its chief executive officer has said.

Sanjeev Gupta, who was in Dubai last month, confirmed that the company’s investment in the region currently exceeds $100m.

While the company is regionally based in Dubai and is already expanding its presence in the United Arab Emirates, Gupta said the Saudi market also posed attractive opportunities, especially as it embarks on its ambitious Vision 2030 strategy.

“We see opportunities in commodities, steel, engineering and finance in this region,” he said.

“We are watching developments in Saudi Arabia carefully, as it is a country we have a long history with. We read Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commentary and it resonates as he is very much speaking a language we understand.

“He is thinking holistically, sustainably. We are confident we can play a role in enabling this transformation,” he said.

Unveiled in April this year, Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is aimed at ending the kingdom’s “addiction” to oil and transforming the kingdom into a global investment power.

It will include creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and raising the private sector’s share of the economy to 60 per cent, up from the existing 40 per cent.

The strategy comes after a drastic drop in oil prices over the last two years, which has seen Gulf oil exporters lose billions in oil revenues.

“In general, we see a dynamic response in the region to current market conditions. The UAE and the Saudis are taking strong steps to diversify and create other ways of adding value,” said Gupta.

He also said the current market conditions were ideal to acquire assets at a good value.

“It’s a good time to look for acquisitions because the next 20 years will see much more development in power and transportation sectors, and the development of these industrial ecosystems,” he said.

“We intend to help drive this growth with our integrated business model – from commodity supply chain management, to renewable power plants, to steel production and to producing engineering products for growth industries. This is powered by our financial services platform,” he added.

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