Riyadh: Saudi Arabia is going to spend 100 billion riyals (Dh97.9bn) in 2019 and 2020 as part of an industrial strategy cum programme.
The aim is to weaning the kingdom off oil, creating jobs and attracting as much as 1.6 trillion riyals in investment by 2030.
The National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme covers 42 initiatives for creating local content in key sectors that include mining, logistics, and various other industries, Abed Al Saadoun, Deputy Minister of energy, industry and mineral resources said on Monday during a conference in Riyadh held to reveal the programme.
“What we are trying to achieve from this programme is to triple the contribution of these sectors to the gross domestic product,” said Mr Al Saadoun. “Private sector jobs will rise by two times to 3.1 million. Exports from the four sectors will grow five times from levels today.”
Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, is undertaking a slew of measures to help boost the contribution of the non-oil sector to the economy under Vision 2030, the overarching road map for the kingdom’s overhaul.
Under Vision 2030, the private sector’s contribution to the economy is set to increase to 65 per cent by 2030 from the current 40 per cent of gross domestic product.
The kingdom will sign agreements worth 235bn riyals on the side-lines of the conference that include big deals to create military industries, Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih toldAl ArabiyaTV channel.
“To the extent these are export-oriented projects, they should reduce the dependence of the economy on government spending and hence on oil revenues,” said Robin Mills, chief executive of Qamar Energy.
The kingdom will provide a total of 105bn riyals in an “financial enablement” package, and be the main financier for NIDLP sectors of mining, industry, logistics and energy, according to a brochure distributed at the conference. It didn’t specify the timeframe for dispensing the funding.
In addition, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund will provide up to 75 per cent of the capital invested in the NIDLP projects.
Saudi Arabia is offering investment opportunities in 72 projects, out of which 29 are in the industrial sector and the rest divided among mining, logistics and energy.
In the industrial sector, NIDLP expects to attract $300bn of investments, including a 4.4bn riyals adhesive plant.
Among the mining projects on offer is a 28bn riyals integrated steel plant. The kingdom has so far invested $40bn in mining over recent years in partnership with the private sector, allowing the industry to contribute $17bn to the Saudi economy.
In the logistics sector, the kingdom aims to develop and operate logistics zones close to major ports with investment opportunities worth 7bn riyals.
Under NIDLP, the energy sector will see 60 gigawatts of capacity to come online by 2030 by executing 35 renewable projects. The projects on offer include a 3.5bn riyals solar cells and modules plant and a 2.5bn riyals gas turbine manufacturing plant.
Saudi Arabia wants to expand some of the country’s ports and airports and plans to involve the private sector in a few of its projects, Rumaih Al Rumaih, chairman of the Public Transport Authority said at the conference.
The authority is spending 74bn riyals on rail projects, he said. It is also expanding some of its ports, including King Abdullah Port, Jeddah and Dammam by investing 10bn riyals. There are five airports that are being expanded or being built with as much as 3bn riyals in investment.
“We have 12 logistics zones in the kingdom and we are planning to float some opportunities for the private sector,” Mr Al Rumaih said. “We are enhancing capacity to be more efficient for the private sector to grow exports from the country.”
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL