GE announces $1.4 billion in deals with Saudi Arabia

General Electric Co. said Monday it has made a series of deals with Saudi Arabia worth over $1.4 billion as part of the kingdom's ambitious plan to wean itself off crude oil.

GE said $1 billion worth of projects would be implemented with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Co., which was formed in 2014 by royal order to boost the country's manufacturing industry.

An additional $400 million would go toward building a forging-and-casting manufacturing facility for the marine and energy industry in the kingdom, with hopes of it being in operation by 2020 and providing over 2,000 jobs, GE said.

In the future, there's a possibility of an additional $2 billion in projects coming on line as well, GE said.

GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said the project showed the company wanted to expand its long-time presence in Saudi Arabia in "a new and visionary way."

"Together, we will create quality jobs for Saudi youth, ... boost exports, enhance economic competitiveness and support the vision and aspirations of Saudi Arabia," Immelt said in a statement.

Saudi state-run media did not immediately report on the deals. Officials in Saudi Arabia could not be immediately reached for comment.

The deal comes as part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan to wean itself off dependence on oil production. The plan, pushed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, also calls for floating a stake in the world's largest oil company, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and setting up one of the world's biggest government investment funds.

GE is based in Fairfield, Conn.

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UPDATES:

5:01 a.m.: The article has been updated with additional background 

This article was originally published at 2:07 a.m.

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