Deloitte ME Point of View summer issue: Saudi mega projects and economic diversification
26 September, 2018 – Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, economic diversification strategy and mega projects are some of the topics discussed in the Summer 2018 issue of Deloitte’s quarterly publication, the Middle East Point of View (ME POV). The magazine tackles several other hot topics: from GCC energy reforms, to technology in the GCC, the changing role of compliance, and the GCC pharmaceuticals industry.
Saudi Arabia has unveiled a large number of mega projects to help transform the Kingdom’s economy, including Neom, a city of the future on the Red Sea coast, and Al Qiddiya, a 334 square kilometers entertainment district in Riyadh. Martin Cooper, Director in Financial Advisory at Deloitte Middle East, notes in his article Transform KSA that the GCC’s national economic plans include mega projects that seek to lessen some countries’ reliance on energy revenues.
“A key success factor for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 will be dependent on whether the kingdom has learnt from previous attempts at economic diversification through other mega projects, such as Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and Jeddah’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC),” explains Cooper.
With OPEC’s decision to raise oil prices, there is the risk of systemic industry reforms being halted but reforms must continue to help shift and sustain healthier GCC energy economies and deliver adjacent national economic plans. This is what Salam Awawdeh, Consulting Partner at Deloitte Middle East is proposing in his article To stay or not to stay? The oil and gas industry reforms continuum.
Ziad Selman, and Khalid Faiq, Assistant Financial Advisory Directors at Deloitte Middle East state in Technology in the GCC that M&A activity in the region is also expected to increase as GCC economies recover with increased oil prices.
“If there is one industry that could spur growth in the number of M&A deals in the region, it is technology,” they write. “We are witnessing increased digital disruption which will reshape many industries and forces companies to think about how they fit in the overall industry ecosystem.”
“The pace of regulatory change has created a complex environment for compliance leaders across all industries. To ensure adherence to increasingly stringent rules imposed across multiple jurisdictions, banks and financial services companies need to continually calibrate their compliance management function,” explain Hossam Samy, Principal and Disha Rustagi, Manager in Risk Advisory at Deloitte Middle East, in their article The changing role of compliance.
Jan Roderick Van Abbe, Senior Tax Manager, Deloitte Middle East, highlights that foreign pharmaceutical companies operating in the region are facing their own major compliance challenge: taxation.
In his article, Tax, this is pharma, he says: “With the further implementation of taxes and tax developments in the region, foreign pharmaceutical companies are advised to develop a tax strategy for the region and renew their current operating models to identify areas of potential tax risk.”
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Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory and risk advisory services through 25 offices in 14 countries with more than 3,300 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has also received numerous awards in the last few years, which include bestAdvisory and Consultancy Firm of the Year 2016 in the CFO Middle East awards, best employer in the Middle East, the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as well as the best CSR integrated organization.