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Saudi Arabia’s private sector-led economic growth beyond Vision 2030 target, says minister

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaks at the PIF Forum.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaks at the PIF Forum.
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07 Feb 2024 03:02:51 GMT9
07 Feb 2024 03:02:51 GMT9

Nadin Hassan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s booming private sector will drive the economy beyond the Vision 2030 target of SR6.4 trillion ($1.7 trillion), according to the investment minister.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the second edition of the Public Investment Fund’s Private Sector Forum, Khalid Al-Falih noted that 65 percent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product will come from non-government-backed sources by the end of the decade – up to four times more than the contribution before the economic diversification strategy was announced in 2016.

The minister used his appearance at the event to underscore that the private sector is the main focus of Vision 2030 as it seeks to move Saudi Arabia away from a dependence on oil revenues.

Al-Falih said the economy will grow from SR2.6 trillion, adding: “So 65 percent of SR6.4 trillion is about three to four times the contribution of the private sector before the vision in terms of quantity, size and type.”

The Private Sector Forum is being held at the King Abdulaziz International Convention Center in Riyadh from Feb. 6-7.

This event aims to foster partnerships between PIF, its portfolio companies and the private sector, as the sovereign wealth fund seeks to increase local content through its portfolio companies to 60 percent by the end of 2025.

Representatives from over 80 PIF portfolio companies are set to attend, as well as government ministers and CEOs.

“There is no international meeting held to attract international investments or to discover investment opportunities unless we include 50-200 representatives of the private sector,” said Al-Falih, adding: “We provide all the aspects required by the private sector through open doors and continuous and methodical dialogue, not just through passing meetings.”

Additionally, he mentioned that the volume of investments targeted during Vision 2030 amounted to SR12.4 trillion, with the amount in the contracting sector alone totaling SR1.8 trillion.

“There is something urgent for the private sector to prepare, prepare, raise its capabilities, and enter into global partnerships,” Al-Falih said.

Furthermore, he stated that incentive packages were introduced in several sectors.

“We have special economic zones that will be the largest in the region and will reach the level of global competition. We will compete with Shenzhen and the economic zones on the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, including Ras Al-Khair region, which embraces the shipbuilding and metallurgical industries,” the minister said.

He also flagged how a budget exceeding SR10 billion was allocated to delegate a work team in the industrial sector, where 1,900 commodities were placed in the priorities of the Saudization program.

“Now we are working on international partnerships to provide logistical storage centers,” Al-Falih added.

The minister revealed that there will be an announcement about IT projects during the next LEAP conference set for Riyadh from March 4-7.

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