Riyadh: Saudi Arabia aims to attract investment worth 1.6 trillion riyals ($427 billion) in the next decade through an industrial development programme aimed at diversifying the economy, Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said on Saturday.
Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who is behind reforms known as Vision 2030, will present details of the infrastructure plan on Monday. The kingdom could sign about 70 deals worth more than 200 billion riyals at the same time under the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) to boost industry, mining, energy and logistics.
Saudi Arabia is among nations in the Middle East working to diversify government income away from oil sales and build new industries. The kingdom will focus on chemicals, power and natural gas businesses in its industry plan, Al Falih said.
The kingdom plans to restructure its power industry by separating its generation business from transmission and distribution. As part of the plan, the country will create a separate power purchasing agency, he said.
At a later stage, it plans to announce projects in the military, chemicals and small businesses industries worth $50 billion, he added without giving a time frame.
“The (NIDLP) programme targets 1.6 trillion Saudi riyals ... so it is quiet ambitious but it is over a 10-year period so we have got the time to do it,” Falih told a press conference.
The government has made attracting greater foreign investment a cornerstone of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from oil and create jobs for Saudis.
Transport Minister Nabeel Al Amudi told the press conference that NIDLP would launch 60 initiatives in the logistics sector, including five new airports and 2000km of railways.
“We aim by 2020 that the logistics sector contributes 221 billion riyals to GDP,” he said.