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Chairman's Update - 5th November 2023

Including: Saudi visit exploring bi-lateral trade opportunities for the North East.

This week, our Chairman has been super busy exploring trade opportunities for the North East while staying true to our mission of connecting, supporting, and promoting the region and everyone in it.

  • Ammar's week started with visiting Riyadh, engaging in visionary discussions and delving into Saudi Arabia's ambitious #Vision2030. Through his interactions with the healthcare delegation, he has gleaned insights into their latest innovations and health tech offerings.

  • Ammar then commenced his day with a private tour of the National History Museum. The museum's highlights included a meeting with a real-life 'Indiana Jones', the discoverer of the significant "unknown queen of treasure", and a royal visit by a Saudi Royal Prince.

  • His itinerary then took him to ASAS, a division of the Ministry of Investment, where the team elaborated on the vast opportunities and unparalleled support extended to firms aiming to mark their presence in one of the 36 industrial cities across Saudi.

  • Ammar's afternoon was marked by an engaging session with Shurfah, one of Saudi's predominant private sector organisations. He presented the North East's strengths and assets, paving the way for Shurfah's upcoming visit to Newcastle, led by our Saudi partner, Saudi Business Links. This visit will be centred around exploring collaborations in education, investment, and innovation.

  • Following on, a dynamic day of engagement for our chairman as he joined a private roundtable discussion with Alphaiota, a prominent AI Health Tech fund in Saudi. The conversation delved into collaborative opportunities within the North East, featuring showcases of the National Innovation Centre for Data, Centre for Life, and several private health innovation companies in the North East and Teesside, supported by SME Centre of Excellence and Yohlar. They also explored the incorporation of the Yohlar Methodology.

  • Later in the day, Ammar was included in a private presentation at the Ministry of Investment. He highlighted key sectors such as education, biotechnology, inward investment, and international collaboration. His presentation highlighted immediate opportunities for North East companies, including the potential to establish Regional Headquarters in Saudi with substantial incentives and support. This incredible engagement led to an agreement for a future meeting in the Northeast, in collaboration with AirView Park and Saudi Business Links, reflecting our strong commitment to establishing connections and promoting global inclusivity.

  • With Ammar's last day in Riyadh, he was granted a private tour of the illustrious King Abdullah Financial District, taking a closer look at the strategic operations of Public Investment Fund (PIF). The day's momentum continued with a round table hosted by the Local Content Authority. Here, Ammar learned about the various government contracts across the health sector, with many more spanning diverse sectors. His engagements further extended to interactions with eminent dignitaries and officials, bolstering ABC's mission to connect, promote, and support. The luxury and opulence of Riyadh were evident when Ammar was given a private showcase of the Narcisse Hotel, part of the Boudl group, an entity eager to establish a global footprint in the UK with their hotel and apartment offerings.

  • A tour around Riyadh with our local partner, Saudi Business Links, showcased the sheer magnitude of developments in progress. As Ammar witnessed thousands of cranes contributing to various Giga Projects, it became evident how Riyadh's vision aligns with ABC's ethos of inclusion and diversity. The day culminated with a flight to Tabuk, marking the beginning of an anticipated visit to NEOM and The Line.

  • Ammar concluded the week with an extraordinary visit to NEOM, home to The Line, the world's most ambitious giga project on the Red Sea. In a single day, he embarked on a 600km journey, traversing breath-taking landscapes, from vast deserts to encounters with Bedouin communities and tribal leaders. Ammar explored cutting-edge facilities, including NEOM hospital, an architectural marvel built in a mere six months, and NEOM Bay Airport, constructed in just 35 days. The scale and speed of these developments are truly out of this world.

  • Ammar also unveiled plans for Airview, focused on innovation, inclusion, and global engagement, and introduced the world's first Level 6 qualification in innovation. The discussions culminated in the commitment to a return trade visit to Newcastle by business and health leaders in the coming months, with our chairman passionately promoting the North East's vast opportunities across the public, private, and third sectors.

At ABC, we believe in the power of inclusion and the strength that comes from creating partnerships. Ammar efforts, in collaboration with Saudi Business Links and Mr. Ali Alwabel, further emphasise our commitment to bridging gaps and fostering ties. For Ammar, these dialogues are not just about business; they resonate with our mission of mutual growth, shared vision, building a sustainable future, and highlighting our commitment to connect, support, and promote.

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