Saudi Arabia has announced an overhaul of its private sector as part of its Vision 2030 plan to raise between $9 billion and $11 billion in non-oil revenues by 2030, as it tries to position itself away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
The programme, published in a document by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), will create 12,000 jobs with over 100 initiatives across ten sectors.
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These will see the privatisation of ports, parts of the Saudi desalinisation plant, power plants, flour mills and even the national football team.
The list also includes privatising services in the transportation sector and turning the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center into a non-profit organisation.
The bill of economic reforms was approved by the Council of Economic and Development, according to a statement by SPA “to raise the efficiency of the national economy”.
The document said:
The privatisation programme will increase employment opportunities of national workforce, attract the latest technologies and innovations as well as support economic development by involving qualified enterprises in providing these services to increase private sector’s contribution in GDP from 40% to 65% by 2030.
The privatisation programme, which targeted various service sectors; such as energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, petrochemicals and financial sector, is based on three basic pillars; laying the legal/regulatory foundations; laying the institutional foundations; and directing the main program initiatives.
Saudi Arabia’s economy minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri said it was a landmark moment for the national economy:
The privatisation programme aims to strengthen competition, raise the quality of services and economic development, improve the business environment, and remove obstacles that prevent the private sector from playing a bigger role in the kingdom’s development.
Saudi Arabia first unveiled its sweeping privatisation programme in September 2017, looking to raise $200 billion.
The reforms are part of the so-called Vision 2030 economic diversification programme to prepare the country for a “life after oil”.
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As part of the privatisation drive, Saudi Arabia also plans to raise up to $100 billion by listing 5% of the national oil company Saudi Aramco on the local stock exchange Tadawul, as well as another international exchange — which has yet to be decided.
Hong Kong, London, and New York are all top contenders for what will be the world’s largest company initial public offering.