Saudi Arabia aims to privatize flour mills as part of its Vision 2030

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Flour Mills
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According to the source, the completion of a previously announced privatization of the kingdom’s flour mills business would result in the creation of more jobs in Saudi Arabia.

The state’s grain buyer, Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), announced that it had completely divested its entire stake in the last two milling firms, which represent the final phase of the state assets’ sale.

The kingdom’s Second Milling Company was sold to a consortium that included Abdulaziz Al Ajlan Sons Co. for Commercial and Real Estate Investments, Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi International Co., NADEC, and Olam International Limited, while the kingdom’s Fourth Milling Company was awarded to a consortium that included Allana International, Abdullah Al Othaim Markets, and United Feed Manufacturing Company, all of this for a total of more than $773 million.

Two of the government’s milling companies were sold to investors from Saudi Arabia and the UAE in July.

“The sale of the last two milling companies to the private sector will be the catalyst for the growth of the sector to further strengthen the capabilities of the sector, enhance performance, support diversification of products while cost-effectively maintaining quality,” according to a statement released after the final sale.

“The privatization initiative will further improve the services provided to citizens and is aimed to increase employment opportunities for the national workforce through the contribution of the private sector investment in the national economy,” the statement added.

The selling of Saudi Arabia’s flour milling properties is in line with Saudi Vision 2030’s objectives, which aims to boost the private sector’s contribution to the economy. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted businesses all over the world, forcing them to cut jobs to remain afloat.

According to reports, as a result, the unemployment rate among Saudi nationals increased to 15.4 percent in the last six months of 2020, up 3.1 percent from the same timeframe the previous year.

The overall unemployment rate for Saudis and non-Saudis has also risen to 9 percent, up 3.4 percent from the second quarter of 2019.

The reports said that “these results of the Labour Force Survey are largely impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Saudi economy.

Related: Saudi Arabia initiates wage subsidy program to localize industrial sector


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