Riyadh. Saudi Arabia created a new ministry for industry and mineral resources that’s separate from the current energy ministry.
The shift was part of a series of royal orders by King Salman, reported Friday night by the official Saudi Press Agency. The existing Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, led by Khalid Al-Falih, will be renamed the Ministry of Energy and hand over its other files to the new ministry at the start of the next fiscal year, the agency said. The king appointed Bandar Alkhorayef to head the new ministry.
Al Falih was in charge of a massive portfolio, including logistics and mining, in addition to his core role as top oil official for the world’s largest crude exporter. The industrial portfolio was added to the ministry when Al-Falih was appointed in 2016 and had previously been part of a separate trade ministry.
The new minister, Alkhorayef, is a businessman who is chairman of a company called Abdullah Ibrahim Alkhorayef & Sons and also heads a printing firm, Alkhorayef Printing Solutions.
The king also appointed a new head for the royal court, Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Issa, and replaced deputy labour and social affairs minister, Tamadur Al-Rammah — one of the highest-ranking women in government — with Majid Al-Ghanmi.
Another royal order created a new government body called the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, with ties to the interior ministry and state security.