Saudi Arabia’s powerful Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) approved a Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, according to reports.
Saudi Arabia aims to generate 35 billion to 40 billion riyals ($9 billion to $11 billion) in non-oil revenues from the privatization program by 2020 and create up to 12,000 jobs, according to a document published by the official Saudi Press Agency obtained by Reuters.
The initiative “targets 14 public-private partnership (PPP) investments worth 24 billion to 28 billion riyals. It includes the corporatization of Saudi ports and the privatization of the production sector at the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) and the Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant,” according to Reuters. It also includes work on corporatizing ports, privatizing some services in the transportation sector, and transforming King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center into a non-profit organization.
The program is “aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development,” Arab News reports. “It encourages both local and foreign investment to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role” and with an overall aim to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030.
The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery.
CEDA is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and is the vehicle behind many of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms as part of Vision 2030.