In 2016 the Saudi leaders announced approving the National Transformation Program (NTP) as a phase of three that eventually lead to achieving a set of goals by 2030 in a strategy called “Saudi Arabia Vision 2030” which is considered the most radical economic change the kingdom has witnessed throughout its history.
A thriving economy is one of three pillars the vision 2030 is based on. Achieving this pillar mainly revolves around transforming the kingdom from an oil-based economy to a diverse economy by improving other sectors such as services, tourism, entertainment industry, and manufacturing.
Managing to diversify the economy affected many markets. One of the markets that got greatly affected -of course positively- is the building material market.
This article will explain the impact of Vision 2030 on the building material market and the benefits and challenges that emerged.
Construction growth and increasing demand for building material
Infrastructure stands out as a key factor in reaching the goals of Vision 2030 as it is the foundation of reforming the economy and maintaining sustainable development.
The construction sector is one of the sectors Vision 2030 counts on to diversify the economy, in addition to being linked to achieving other goals such as creating investment opportunities, improving the different industries, urbanization, and responding to the population growth.
The kingdom currently has about 4,700 construction and infrastructure projects worth nearly $1 trillion (according to the statistics of Venture Onsite Middle) with more growth expected in the future.
This construction growth has driven increasing demand for building materials. The building material market is forecasted to reach $186 billion by 2030 compared to 160 billion in 2017, which will create many opportunities for the suppliers, and allow them to benefit from the expanding market to raise their sales, as well as open the door for local production potentials.
Updating the regulatory framework and imposing more quality and safety requirements
Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 has an ultimate goal of improving the quality of living for Saudi citizens with a realization that this can’t be achieved without enhancing the quality and safety of products and services.
The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), the governmental body responsible for standardization activities in the kingdom was keen since launching Vision 2030 on exerting best efforts to participate in achieving the Vision objectives by designing the Saudi Product Safety Program (SALEEM) that aims to ensure the Products compliance to the technical regulations and conformity to standards.
As a part of maintaining SALEEM objectives, Saber Electronic Platform was developed by SASO to digitize the conformity procedures and build an effective system that links between the authority and beneficiaries.
This new system was applied to building materials in June 2019, as supplies became liable to register their products from building materials on Saber and apply for conformity certificates through the same platform.
Updating the technical regulations
In addition to creating a unified platform to register and issue conformity certificates for building material, SASO gave great attention to updating the relevant technical regulation in line with the new requirements to ensure committing to the highest level of quality and safety.
The technical regulations that cover building material have been updated including:
- Technical Regulation for Building Materials – Part 1: Sectors of Metals and their Alloys for Buildings and Constructions.
- Technical Regulation for Building Materials – Part 2: Insulation and Building Cladding Materials.
- Technical Regulations for Building Materials – part 3 – Hydraulic Links and Related Products.
- Technical Regulations for Building Materials – part 4 – Bricks, Tiles, Ceramics, Sanitary Ware, and Related Products.
- Technical Regulation for Building Materials – Part 5 – Tubes and Pipes used in water, electricity, and Gas networks.
What are the challenges?
The aforementioned two impacts carry both benefits and challenges. As the benefits from the expanding market come with challenges related to the regulatory requirements and high competition.
However, these challenges can be controlled by understanding the new regulatory system as well as choosing an experienced and trusted conformity partner that helps you enhance your competitive advantages in the Saudi expanding market.