Efficio says countries in the Gulf region will need to look to ICV programmes to maximise economic and human capital development in a post-oil future.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: GCC countries are set for a crucial 12 months in progressing their In-Country Value (ICV) programmes as the public and private sectors join together in increasing diversification away from oil and gas. 

In-Country Value (ICV) programmes were initially created to increase workplace nationalisation – ensuring that investment was channelled into the development of a country’s own talent pool and resources. 

Over time, they have evolved into total value programmes that encompass a wide range of factors to improve economic efficiency and diversity, while also being key engines to driving social development. Today, comprehensive programmes encompass strategic initiatives, such as developing local supplier capabilities, establishing strategic supply chain partnerships with international OEMs, attracting local and foreign investments, together with developing a future proof-workforce through training and internship programmes. 

Over the past 10 to 15 years, the GCC has been instrumental in highlighting the advantages offered by ICV and how the need to increase efficiency and local value creation in their post-oil economic future will be crucial in the near, medium, and longer terms.

This is why now is a pivotal time for GCC countries when it comes to progressing their In-Country Value (ICV) programmes.

Efficio – a global leader in ICV, procurement, and supply chain management – has worked for more than a decade to help establish ICV-related policies and holistic ICV development programmes in the region. 

The challenge now is how to leverage ICV as a tool from which to become global leaders in rapidly evolving industries – from green energy to IT. 

Efficio VP and MENA regional lead, David Mooney, said: 

“Governments in the GCC have historically been global leaders in understanding the value of ICV.

“We have worked side by side with public sector leaders in KSA and the UAE to establish successful ICV programmes, which are then, in turn, enabled by the private sector. 

“Without question, ICV programmes have been successful in creating opportunities for new businesses and careers for nationals. The next phase is to evolve ICV policies that are a benchmark globally. The countries that achieve this will position their business owners to become industry leaders in the emerging markets predicted to shape this decade and beyond, future proofing their economies by balancing nationalisation and commercial competitiveness. 

“In the coming year, ICV policy will be a key focus for all leaders within the GCC – they understand that they have the ability and ambition to enable the future economies required to create real diversification.”


Saudi Arabia is recognised as having leveraged ICV to grow and diversify the economy, while balancing the creation of job opportunities for nationals and encouraging the arrival of foreign talent and investment.

Efficio has been at the centre of that strategy since 2015, where it led a foundational ICV development program at the heart of government. This work has continued to 2023, initially through the design and implementation of holistic ICV development programmes at “national champions” across several industries – such as Petrochemicals, Mining, and Telecommunications – followed by developing and launching national ICV development programmes in partnership with key Ministries in the energy, ICT, and other industrial sectors. The way these national companions have approached ICV can function as a blueprint for other leaders in the Gulf. 

Adam Forgacs, Efficio Director and the Head of Efficio’s dedicated ICV Centre of Excellence, said: 

“ICV is a critical engine to driving extended value at both national and corporate levels. 

Saudi Arabia has long been a leader in ICV in the region. Powered by the Vision 2030 programme, Efficio has been working with a wide set of Ministries, government-owned enterprises, investment funds, and other private sector organisations to first develop the national ICV regulation and enablers, and then to establish and implement end-to-end ICV development programmes that incorporate strategic market and workforce development initiatives. 

What we have seen in Saudi Arabia is a balanced approach to ICV development that considers the maturity of the local market to avoid impacting emerging industries negatively. For example, in Petrochemicals, which represents a mature component of KSA’s economy with established local supply chains and strong engineering skills across the workforce, taking a more aggressive approach to localisation was appropriate. In contrast, our investor attraction, supplier development, and workforce development programmes in the ICT sector are more focussed on localising knowledge and new technologies, attracting foreign investment and building the skills of the national workforce over time. 

Through this approach, we can drive significant ICV impact quickly, but sustainably – ensuring that we expand localisation in traditional industries while we also future proof the workforce skills and set Saudi Arabia up to be an innovator and leader in emerging technologies. 

We have developed a strong ICV blueprint that can be used by other countries and companies in the region – each country and company will have different objectives and targets, and through our deep experience in developing tailored national and company level ICV development programmes we can drive significant value at all levels.”

About Efficio:

Efficio has specialised in procurement and supply chain management for more than 20 years, supporting our clients across the globe to identify, deliver, and sustain improvement opportunities. This scale and singular focus set us apart. We help organisations reduce costs, improve internal processes, and upskill their procurement teams, enabling them to become high value-generating functions within their businesses. Our combination of expertise, data, technology, and human intelligence delivers value improvements at speed, allowing organisations to operate more efficiently and compete more effectively in an ever-changing landscape. 

We have been operating in the MENA region since 2014. During this time, we have worked on some of the region’s largest infrastructure and giga-projects, helping them deliver value from procurement faster, end-to-end cost optimisation and meet ICV and Local Content and requirements. 

Efficio supports blue chip multinationals, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, SME, and public sector clients around the world to deliver increased value from procurement and supply chain management. For further information, please visit our website or contact us directly.