Saudi Aramco continues to pursue its long term strategy to become the world’s leading integrated energy enterprise despite the current downturn in the global oil industry, Khalid A. Al-Falih, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco reiterated at the 8th Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) in Riyadh. During a keynote session titled Saudi Aramco's Future Vision and its Role in Transforming the National Economy, Al-Falih said the company’s investments are deeply aligned with initiatives and programs to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy. Saudi Aramco is working closely with government agencies, including the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), to attract foreign investments to the Kingdom. He outlined his vision for a Saudi economy that is more competitive and attractive to foreign investors and powered by a highly-skilled workforce that has a greater participation by Saudi Nationals. “Saudi Aramco is committed to its long-term strategy to become the world’s leading, integrated energy and chemicals company. We are creating economic opportunity by diversifying, investing in new sectors and attracting foreign direct investment into our supply chain and contracting business.” said Al-Falih. Addressing the impact of the current downturn on the company’s strategy, Al-Falih said that the lower price environment is an opportunity for Saudi Aramco and the industry as a whole to sharpen its fiscal discipline and drive value. Saudi Aramco remains “in position, ready to adjust to market dynamics” with “the resources, capabilities and long-term vision to optimize the natural resources of the Kingdom.” Al-Falih said Saudi Aramco is investing in unconventional gas that will fuel new industries and create new jobs in the Kingdom. “Saudi Arabia will be the next frontier for the development of shale gas and unconventionals,” he said. Al-Falih highlighted the collaborative role of Saudi Aramco, including the Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre (Wa’ed), to drive the Small and Medium Enterprise sector and local innovation, focusing effort on the development and commercialization of critical technologies that the Kingdom’s expanding economy requires. Al-Falih also emphasized the importance of education and skills development in boosting the long-term prospects of the Kingdom, referencing Saudi Aramco’s expanding network of global research centers and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs implemented across the Kingdom. In concluding, Al-Falih said “Saudi Aramco is building its talent and technology capabilities which, ultimately, are our strongest competitive advantages.” he continued, “With Saudi and international universities and many other collaborative partners Saudi Aramco is part of a movement in Saudi Arabia to drive high-end knowledge creation across the Kingdom."