Saudi private sector to invest $1.3 trillion in diversification by 2030: Crown Prince

Reuters , Tuesday 30 Mar 2021

Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday the local private sector will invest 5 trillion riyals ($1.3 trillion) between now and 2030 under a new programme to help diversify the economy.

The move aims to mobilise the Gulf Arab state's private sector to help wean the economy off its reliance on oil exports, which still account for more than half the state's income, and develop new sectors to help create jobs for millions of Saudis.

The private sector investment is part of 12 trillion riyals worth of investments in the economy planned by 2030, Prince Mohammed said in televised remarks.

That also includes 3 trillion riyals from the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and 4 trillion riyals as part of a new Saudi investment strategy.

"The new Shareek (Partner) programme will help the private sector create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and will boost the contribution of the private sector to GDP by up to 65% by the end of the decade," the prince said.

Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told Reuters that 24 companies, the majority listed firms, would invest 2 trillion riyals by 2025 and another 3 trillion riyals by 2030. PIF is a shareholder in most of them, he added.

Jadaan said the government would offer support through regulatory reforms, tax incentives at free trade zones depending on the sector, soft loans from Saudi development institutions, and technology support, including for research and development.

The support would be in line with World Trade Organization guidelines, he added.

He said the programme was optional and not sector-specific.

"Sectors are not limited. As long as they have a viable investment within the criteria that has been discussed."

State news agency SPA said the first memorandums of understanding with large firms are due to be signed in June. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

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