During his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom offers investment opportunities worth $6 trillion over the next decade, with new projects representing half of this value.
The opportunities are part of the young prince’s Vision 2030, aimed at ending the kingdom’s dependence on oil and transforming it into a global investment power.
Support from PIF
The prince plans to create new sectors and develop domestic projects that would create jobs for millions of Saudis, through the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign investment fund that acts as the main vehicle boosting investments at home and abroad.
PIF will finance 85 percent of these opportunities along with the Saudi private sector, while the remaining financing will come from capital investments from investors in the Gulf and globally, the prince said.
The PIF is the key investor in a number of mega projects including a high-tech economic zone dubbed NEOM planned for an area close to the size of Belgium, an entertainment park outside Riyadh called Qiddiya being built on a site two and a half times larger than Disney World, and a luxury tourist resort off the Red Sea coast that will span 50 islands.
The Crown Prince reviewed achievements made since the announcement of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan in 2016, which have included doubling non-oil revenues, empowering women in the workforce and raising the competitiveness of its businesses, the press agency report said. He said said the achievements had been made following rapid transformation and reforms within the past four years, adding that those reforms are set to double within the next decade.
He added that although 2020 was full of challenges, the kingdom was ready to face them. He also said the kingdom remained keen on international cooperation with “partners and friends in the business community and their participation in these promising investment opportunities”.
He further highlighted Saudi Arabia’s ambitions in renewable energy and said the kingdom intends to be a leader in Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence. Recently, Prince Mohammed unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, with infrastructure costs of $100 billion to $200 billion.
The world’s top oil exporter is expected to borrow tens of billions of dollars this year to fill state coffers hit by lower oil prices and to boost liquidity at the PIF.