Date
26 July 2017
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a news conference in Jeddah to announce the kingdom's National Transformation Plan. Photo: Reuters
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a news conference in Jeddah to announce the kingdom's National Transformation Plan. Photo: Reuters

Saudi Arabia unveils plan to diversify economy

Saudi Arabia plans to more than triple its non-oil revenue by 2020 while cutting state handouts, a move aimed at reshaping the kingdom’s economy amid falling energy prices.

Under the initiative, dubbed the National Transformation Program (NTP), Riyadh expects to boost non-oil revenue to 530 billion Saudi riyals (US$141.3 billion) by 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Developing sectors like mining and tourism and increasing the exports of commodities other than oil are part of the plan which was approved on Monday.

The program will see subsidies reduced on water and electricity, which the government says can provide savings of as much as 200 billion riyals by 2020.

The initiative comes as authorities expect the nation’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product to widen to 30 percent by 2020 from 7 percent at present.

The kingdom’s Council for Economic and Development Affairs, a body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, drafted the NTP.

The vision also includes plans to sell under 5 percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, and to transfer ownership of the company to the kingdom’s sovereign-wealth fund.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe