Our In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) supply chain efficiency program strengthens our efforts to create value across every part of our business. The program aims to increase the use of in-Kingdom suppliers, expand local supply chain capabilities and capacities, drive collaboration in the industry through supplier development, and bring new innovations to the Kingdom through R&D, and promote the Kingdom as an export hub.
Through increasing our use of in-Kingdom suppliers, goods and services, the program not only benefits Saudi Arabia's economy and society, but supports our own efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our supply chain, both nationally and internationally.
Iktva has created a vibrant business-friendly model, establishing partnerships between local businesses and leading global companies, such as Siemens, Jacobs Engineering Group, National Oilwell Varco, GE, Rowan, Nabors, McDermott International, Honeywell, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, and Baker Hughes.
Since the launch of iktva in 2015, our suppliers have tripled their local purchases of goods and services. And there has been a 13-fold increase in spending by our main suppliers in developing local sub-suppliers.
Iktva also facilitates the hiring and training of Saudi nationals for high quality jobs, increases our competitiveness, drives industry collaboration, and brings innovation to the Kingdom through R&D. Our suppliers are now investing three times the amount on R&D in the Kingdom. Their employment of Saudi nationals is up 50%. And female employment has increased by almost a third. Through iktva, our suppliers are exporting 50% more from the Kingdom.
Iktva supports our ambition to build a sustainable supply chain that serves our own needs and those of our partners. When our facilities were attacked in September 2019, our ability to quickly bring operations back online was facilitated by our localized supply chain, facilitated by iktva.