Saudi Arabia's crown prince launches National Investment Strategy

Saudi Arabia's crown prince launches National Investment Strategy
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Updated 12 October 2021

Saudi Arabia's crown prince launches National Investment Strategy

Saudi Arabia's crown prince launches National Investment Strategy

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday said that the Saudi economy is expected to get SR27 trillion in government spending and investments by 2030 as the Kingdom plans to be among the top 15 global economies.

The Kingdom will invest more than SR12 trillion ($3.2 trillion) by 2030 to spur local economic growth, while the economy will receive SR10 trillion through government spending over the next 10 years and a further SR5 trillion from private consumption spending in the same period.

This represents a total injection of SR27 trillion ($7 trillion) by 2030, he added in a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.

The funds are part of the National Investment Strategy (NIS), a key enabler to achieve the goals of the Vision 2030, he added. The NIS will target key sectors such as manufacturing, renewable energy, transport and logistics, tourism, digital infrastructure, and health care, the statement said.

Another goal of the strategy is positioning Saudi Arabia among the top ten economies on the Global Competitiveness Index by 2030, the crown prince said.

The crown prince highlighted that out of the SR12 trillion the Shareek program initiatives will inject SR5 trillion, the Public Investment Fund is set to contribute SR3 trillion, and the remaining SR4 trillion will come from investments facilitated by the NIS.

Today, the Kingdom embarks on a new investment era to empower Saudi and international private-sector investors with more and better opportunities. Investment is without a doubt one of the main routes for us to achieve the ambitions and aspirations of Vision2030, among them economic development, diversification and sustainability; technology transfer and localization; infrastructure development; better quality of life; job opportunities and the upskilling of our human resources, leaving a legacy of prosperity for future generations

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The strategy will contribute to the growth and diversification of the Kingdom’s economy, which, in turn, will achieve many of Vision 2030’s goals, including raising the private sector’s contribution to GDP to 65 percent while increasing the contribution of foreign investments to GDP to 5.7 percent, the crown prince said.

In addition, NIS will see the share of non-oil exports in the Kingdom’s GDP rise from 16 percent to 50 percent, and reduce the unemployment rate to 7 percent, he added.

"Today, the Kingdom embarks on a new investment era to empower Saudi and international private-sector investors with more and better opportunities. Investment is without a doubt one of the main routes for us to achieve the ambitions and aspirations of Vision2030, among them economic development, diversification and sustainability; technology transfer and localization; infrastructure development; better quality of life; job opportunities and the upskilling of our human resources, leaving a legacy of prosperity for future generations,” he said in the statement.

"We will continue to work towards a bright future, enhanced by a diversified and sustainable economy, and this strategy is one of the tributaries formed to achieve this."

The crown prince indicated that investment constitutes an essential and pivotal element in the system of economic growth and sustainable development under the umbrella of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

The strategy aims to raise net foreign direct investment flows to SR388 billion annually, and increase domestic investment to reach about SR1.7 trillion annually by 2030.

By achieving these goals, it is expected that the investment-to-GDP ratio of the Kingdom will rise from 22 percent in 2019 to 30 percent in 2030, which will contribute to the growth of the Saudi economy to become one of the 15 largest economies in the world.

Mohammed Al Suwayed, CEO of Razeen Capital said: “There is no details so far on what's the government spending gonna be at, but the numbers are too big, It's very ambitious.”

“The impact is from the additional spending, and the additional spending is not coming from the government this time, it is coming from the private sector," he added.


Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes nearly 1.5m visits in first 24 days

Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes nearly 1.5m visits in first 24 days
Updated 3 min 54 sec ago

Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes nearly 1.5m visits in first 24 days

Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes nearly 1.5m visits in first 24 days
  • Iraqi singer Kadim al-Sahir performed on the opening of the ‘Infinite Nights’ concert series

DUBAI: Expo 2020 Dubai this week saw visit numbers edge closely to 1.5m for the first 24 days since it opened to the public on October 1.

The organizers say the numbers were boosted by the program of musical and cultural events, as well as the long weekend marking the prophet’s birthday and the half-term school break.

Since the opening there have been 1,471,314 visits to the site, with children making up about 25 percent of visits to the site over the half-term week, which featured  cricket coaching program by the sporting greats the Rajasthan Royals.

There was also turn up and play football sessions hosted by coaches from Manchester City.

The long weekend, marking the prophet’s birthday, saw large crowds visit the site – many drawn to performances by the likes of the Expo 2020 all-female Firdaus Orchestra and British singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf.

And Iraqi megastar Kadim Al Sahir, one of the most successful Arab artists in history, kickstarted Expo 2020 Dubai’s spectacular Infinite Nights series.


Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August

Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August
Getty Images
Updated 11 min 49 sec ago

Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August

Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August
  • On an annual basis, UAE imports increased by about 47 percent

The value of Saudi Arabia's imports from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August increased by about 31 percent month on month, official data showed on Monday, jumping back from a steep decline in July after the kingdom imposed new rules on imports from other Gulf countries.


Imports from neighbouring UAE rose to 4.1 billion riyals ($1.09 billion) from 3.1 billion riyals in July, according to data from the General Authority for Statistics.

On an annual basis, UAE imports increased by about 47 percent.


The monthly increase follows a 33 percent decline in July, when Saudi Arabia amended rules on imports from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli input from preferential tariff concessions, a move seen as a challenge the UAE's status as the region's trade and business hub.


Aramco and TotalEnergies launch first two service stations in Saudi Arabia

Aramco and TotalEnergies launch first two service stations in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 min 31 sec ago

Aramco and TotalEnergies launch first two service stations in Saudi Arabia

Aramco and TotalEnergies launch first two service stations in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco and TotalEnergies have launched the first two service stations of their joint retail network in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, and Saihat, in the country’s Eastern Province.

"It follows the signing of a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) Agreement between Aramco and TotalEnergies in 2019, with plans to  significantly upgrade a network of 270 service stations and expand the range of quality retail services available across the Kingdom," Aramco said in a statement.

 


Indonesia’s Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to bolster recovery

Indonesia’s Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to bolster recovery
Updated 32 min 53 sec ago

Indonesia’s Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to bolster recovery

Indonesia’s Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to bolster recovery
  • Level of coronavirus restrictions in Southeast Asia is the highest in the world
  • Intra-ASEAN travel typically accounts for around 40 percent of travel in the region and is key to reviving tourism in the region

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged Southeast Asian countries to speed up plans to create a regional travel corridor to help revive tourism and speed up a recovery from the economic damage of the pandemic.
Citing UN and World Trade Organization data, Widodo said Monday that the level of restrictions in Southeast Asia was the highest in the world. With coronavirus cases in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations now declining, those limits should be eased to allow people to travel more freely, he said.
Speaking at a regional business forum Widodo urged immediate adoption of a regional travel corridor, a concept initiated by Indonesia in 2020, that would include faster immigration lanes, recognition of vaccine certificates and standardized health measures for departure and arrival, among other things.
“After 20 months of facing the daunting COVID-19 pandemic, we now see a light of hope. In the past week, COVID-19 cases in ASEAN fell by 14 percent, far exceeding the global average, which fell by 1 percent.,” he told the forum organized ahead of a three-day ASEAN leaders summit, which starts Tuesday.
“With the COVID-19 situation getting more under control, these restrictions could be eased, mobility could be relaxed, while also ensuring that it’s safe from the risk of the pandemic,” he said.
“If all ASEAN countries immediately facilitate the safe mobility of people, the wheels of economy shall soon run again,” he said.
Intra-ASEAN travel typically accounts for around 40 percent of travel in the region and is key to reviving tourism in the region.
Some countries, including Thailand, are cautiously moving to reopen to international tourism.
Indonesia re-opened its holiday resort island of Bali to foreign tourists this month after more than 80 percent of its population was fully vaccinated. Widodo said the government will gradually open up other areas in the country where vaccination rate exceeds 70 percent. Indonesia so far has fully vaccinated about a quarter of its people.
Widodo called for more equal distribution of vaccines to ensure that at least 70 percent of ASEAN’s more than 600 million people are inoculated. Vaccination is uneven in the region, with Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia moving the fastest with over 70 percent of their population inoculated and Myanmar at the bottom with less than 10 percent vaccinated.
Widodo said ASEAN, as the region with the fastest growth in Internet use in the world, should also expand its digital economy for future growth. The value of Indonesia’s digital economy value is expected to reach $124 billion in 2025 or equivalent to 40 percent of the total value of Southeast Asia’s digital economy, he said.
“Our rapid steps together in handling health challenges, reactivation of safe travels, as well as acceleration of a fair digital economy, will become our common gateway to recover and advance together,” he added.
ASEAN leaders will hold a three-day annual summit from Tuesday. Myanmar’s top general, whose forces seized power in February, was not invited after failing to take steps to end the deadly violence that followed the military takeover.


Saudi mining company Ma’aden turns $826m profit in first nine months of 2021

Saudi mining company Ma’aden turns $826m profit in first nine months of 2021
Updated 5 min 32 sec ago

Saudi mining company Ma’aden turns $826m profit in first nine months of 2021

Saudi mining company Ma’aden turns $826m profit in first nine months of 2021

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian Mining Company, or Ma’aden, has returned to profit, posting returns of SR3.1 billion ($826 million) in the first nine months of the year.

This is compared to a net loss of SR780 million in the same period in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit pushed industries to the wall. 

The recovery is due to higher average sales prices of all products except gold, the company said in a Tadawul filing. 

Higher share in net profit from its joint ventures also bumped Ma’aden’s profits up.