Earlier this month Saudi Arabia celebrated World Intellectual Property Day for the first time, as the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) launched a nationwide intellectual property awareness campaign.
This is an important signal of Saudi Arabia’s ambition to create a knowledge economy, vital to the economic diversification envisaged by the Vision 2030 blueprint.
“You cannot be depending on oil in a world where the knowledge economy is the driver of economic development — manufacturing is 20th century,” says Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO of King Abdullah Economic City.
Consider that in 1975 83% of the market value of the United States’ 500 biggest companies comprised “tangible” assets, in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture and commodities.
Today, the reverse is true. By 2018, over 85% of the value of these companies came from “intangible assets” - ideas, concepts, brands, and innovative products and processes.
Other successful economies have followed this path in recent decades. Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have all moved from agriculture to manufacturing to knowledge-based industries.