NDF Development Ecosystem Boosts Economy with over 135bn riyals in 2022
The Development Ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, the National Development Fund (NDF) and its supervised development funds and banks, concluded the year 2022 with a series of achievements, agreements, and new development programs launched in Q4, focusing on achieving economic, social, and cultural objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 and maximizing the developmental impact on Saudi economy. These achievements included signing strategic cooperation agreements, and financing beneficiaries from various economic sectors and segments of society with over SAR 135 bn approved financing and support last year.
According to the quarterly report issued by the Media Center of NDF, the SME Bank launched its activities last month to boost small and medium enterprises financing, raise their share in the GDP, and act as a primary catalyst for the sector. The SME Bank initiated its services and revealed 6 financing products designed to suit SMEs’ needs and market requirements.
NDF issued its approval to establish SIDB Investment Company, with the goal of supporting the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry, raising private sector’s investments in financed projects, and attracting local and international investors to invest in the targeted sectors. NDF’s Development Ecosystem also signed financing agreements with NEOM Green Hydrogen Company to establish the largest green hydrogen production plant in the world to serve the goals of sustainability and green development.
As part of the ecosystem’s efforts to support environmental sustainability in the industrial sector, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDB) offered strategic development financing to CEER company to establish the first Saudi electric car company and empower it to compete in this growing sector. The total approved loans by SIDB exceeded SAR 14 bn during the year 2022 for more than 100 projects in the sectors of industry, energy, mining, and logistics. SIDB also conducted 95 programs and seminars through its educational academy, benefiting more than 9000 trainees. Moreover, SIDB achieved last year the golden class in King Abdulaziz Award for Quality and Institutional Excellence among 300 governmental, private and non-profit entities, in addition to establishing and organizing the “Industrial Hackathon” the first of its kind in the Kingdom, with the aim of linking youth ideas and creativity with the needs of national manufacturers.
During Q4 2022, the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) launched the “Awn Tourism for Hospitality” program for micro and small enterprises, which aims to support new enterprises, develop, and modernize existing ones with flexible financing solutions. The program allocates up to SAR 10 million and extends the repayment period to 10 years. The program will also support the needs of the targeted projects within the sectors of accommodation, restaurants and cafes, entertainment, in addition to commercial franchising in these sectors. Moreover, to enhance the feasibility of financing programs offered, TDF launched the “Tourism Growth Center”, which aims to advance innovation, nurture talent, and provide the appropriate tools and environment for entrepreneurs to help them establish successful tourism facilities. The center will connect them with high-value services, and a network of partners in a vibrant community of talents and capabilities.
In an initiative to enrich Arabic content, the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) signed a partnership agreement with King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) with the aim of supporting content creation, enhancing cooperation in developing culture projects, spreading knowledge, and encouraging national talents locally and globally. CDF provides SAR 15 million in support targeting SMEs that desire to produce Arabic content with world class quality and standards. CDF also sponsored the Red Sea International Film Festival, where it has received a large number of positive interactions from the audience, who expressed interest in learning more about the film sector financing program, which the fund intends to launch in early 2023.
To raise homeownership rate to 70% by 2030 and expand financing solutions for housing, the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) approved, in partnership with financing parties, loans with total value over SAR 72 bn in 2022.
The Social Development Bank (SDB) signed a cooperation agreement with the National Technology Development Program to finance the technology sector through Lendtech initiative, which aims to support micro, small and medium technology companies by providing soft loans for Saudi entrepreneurs wishing to invest in technology. SDB offers a large set of development financing, training, and advisory programs for individuals and entrepreneurs. In 2022, the number of SDB beneficiaries exceeded 150,000 individuals, with financing value over SAR 13 bn, and 8,600 enterprises with a financing value over SAR 5 bn.
In the development of national human capital, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) signed a MOU with Saudi Aramco last quarter, with the aim of enhancing cooperation in developing nationals and enabling the initiatives of Saudi Aramco’s Small and Medium Enterprises Development Program (Talid). The fund also signed an agreement with SAMI Figeac Aero Manufacturing to train, qualify and employ national cadres to work in manufacturing aircraft structures. During 2022, the total support provided by HRDF exceeded SAR 6.5 bn riyals, which the fund delivered in partnership with various government and private sector entities to support and empower young Saudi men and women, as part of its contributions to the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 and the labor market strategy.
The Saudi EXIM Bank continued its efforts to enable Saudi non-oil exports and enhance their competitiveness in global markets, by providing credit facilities exceeding SAR 14.6 bn riyals since the beginning of 2022, as the share of exports covered by credit insurance amounted to about (8.2) billion riyals, and the volume of financing for exports exceeded SAR 6.4 bn riyals, which included various vital sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals, glass, plastics, iron and steel, and others. These credits have contributed to supporting export deals to international markets in more than 60 countries around the world, in line with the bank’s strategy for the next five years, and as part of its efforts to provide more financing and insurance solutions to develop the export of national products and increase their export opportunities to regional and global markets, enhancing trade exchange between the Kingdom and its partners.
In agricultural development and food security, the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) approved more than SAR 950 million financing in Q4 2022. ADF mainly provided loans for small farmers and breeders and financed projects in poultry, greenhouses, fish breeding, refrigerated warehouses, marketing of agricultural products, and dates production. The fund also extended its financing to include the import of agricultural products targeted in the food security strategy, bringing the total approved loans last year to more than SAR 6.3 bn.
On the front of international development, the Saudi Fund for Development approved over SAR 3.5 bn financing last year, launched 12 projects and development programs, and laid the foundation stone for 10 development projects and programs to support projects with real and tangible benefits for people and societies in developing countries.