Saudi Cabinet Unveils Plans to Privatise 16 Key Industries

Published March 18th, 2021 - 09:30 GMT
Saudi Cabinet Unveils Plans to Privatise 16 Key Industries
The new law is part of the Vision 2030 goal to boost the private sector’s economic contribution to 65 percent of gross domestic product, reaching up to SR14 billion. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Kingdom aims to raise $4bn this year as part of its ambitious privatization drive
The Saudi Cabinet has unveiled plans to privatize 16 key industries in a move aimed at boosting the private sector’s involvement in the development of the Kingdom’s economy.

The initiative, part of the country’s new private sector participation (PSP) program, was announced by Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who also chairs the privatization program committee and board of the National Center for Privatization (NCP).
 

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is concerned with enhancing investment in the national economy, creating attractive investment opportunities for the private sector, and increasing its contribution to the domestic product to enhance the sustainability of the Kingdom’s economy,” he said in a statement.

The PSP law, approved during a virtual session of the Cabinet on Tuesday, has been designed to increase private sector collaboration in infrastructure projects and public services by supporting public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the privatization of public sector assets.

“The issuance of the KSA national PSP law is a big achievement for the PPPs ecosystem in KSA and is in line with advanced global models that have dedicated laws to govern PPPs,” said Ramzi El-Khoury, partner for government and economic development in the Middle East and Africa at management consultant Kearney.

FASTFACTS

• The new law is part of the Vision 2030 goal to boost the private sector’s economic contribution to 65 percent of gross domestic product, reaching up to SR14 billion.

• PPPs are an effective way to reduce the burden on the government and encourage more private investment and involvement in the economy.
 

He told Arab News that the regulatory environment the new law would establish was a key step in creating a transparent ecosystem to encourage investment in the Kingdom.

“We believe that the new PSP law will expedite and further spur local and foreign investments across the Kingdom, enhance infrastructure and service delivery channels, and support the realization of Vision 2030 objectives,” he added.

The regulations aim to level the distribution of risk between government and private sectors, while reducing the government’s capital budget for large projects, according to the CEO of the NCP, Rayyan Nagadi.

In a recent interview, he noted that the new system would help to accelerate the rollout of projects. “I hope projects, which may take two to three years, can be carried out in less than half or one-third of the schedule,” he said. The new law is part of the Vision 2030 goal to boost the private sector’s economic contribution to 65 percent of gross domestic product, reaching up to SR14 billion.

“PPP and privatization will support these objectives by facilitating the transfer of ownership of economic activities, services, and assets owned or traditionally delivered by the government to the private sector,” Tim Armsby, a partner in the projects and finance section of law firm Pinsent Masons Middle East, told Arab News earlier this year.

“This will play a key role in transforming the country from an oil-dependent economy to a diverse, private-sector-driven one,” he said.


Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved.

You may also like