By Arab News
Saudi Arabia launched an ambitious 12 trillion riyal ($3.2 trillion) program on Tuesday to boost the role of the private sector in diversifying the economy, increasing resilience and supporting sustainable growth.
Under the new Shareek program, private sector businesses will be helped to invest 5 trillion riyals between now and 2030, along with 3 trillion riyals from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and 4 trillion riyals as part of a new national investment strategy, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
“Building a vibrant and prosperous private sector is one of the national priorities for the Kingdom, and that is why we are today inaugurating a new and more powerful era in terms of cooperation and partnership between the government and private sector,” the crown prince said.
“The new Shareek program will help the private sector create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and will boost the contribution of the private sector to GDP by up to 65 percent by the end of the decade as part of the goals of Vision 2030.”
The crown prince said the significance of the Shareek program was not limited to enhancing the private sector’s role in the sustainable growth of the national economy. “We see it as a long-term investment in the Kingdom’s future and prosperity, based on stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors.”
The program is expected to contribute to the continued progress of the Saudi economy’s ranking among the largest global economies, with the goal of rising to 15th from its current position of 18th, alongside enhancing confidence in the Kingdom’s investment ecosystem.
Companies that qualify for participation in Shareek will work closely with the relevant government ministries to create tailored investment plans, which will then be fast-tracked to completion. Each project will be monitored to ensure it provided benefits in GDP contribution and job creation.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the program was “yet another way the government is working in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the sustainable growth of our economy in a balanced way that benefits the economy, the citizens and the companies involved.”
The new program was also welcomed on Tuesday by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. He said it was “an important initiative by the Kingdom to strengthen partnership with the private sector that will attract additional capital into the Saudi economy and ensure further growth and prosperity.”