RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s push to diversify its economy under Vision 2030 is increasing its attractiveness in the region for investments, revealed a recent poll conducted by Egyptian financial services firm EFG Hermes.
The survey, which was conducted on the sidelines of the 17th EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference in Dubai, showed 34 percent of respondents termed the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as the most important source of investment opportunities at the moment.
This was followed by investment opportunities in artificial intelligence at 25 percent.
The remaining respondents voted for Chinese investments and the opportunities created by the economic reforms that are currently taking place in Egypt.
Some 73 percent of the respondents in the survey predicted that the average price of oil in 2023 will be $80 a barrel, compared to 23 percent who estimated it to be $100.
For the next five years, the healthcare sector topped the priority list among investors in the region, followed by information technology, renewable energy, and food industries.
Touted to be the biggest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region, Saudi Arabia has shown tremendous economic growth after the launch of Vision 2030.
In 2022, Saudi Arabia recorded a larger-than-expected budget surplus of SR102 billion ($27.13 billion) — SR12 billion higher than previously forecast.
The Kingdom’s non-oil economy is also showing positive growth, as Saudi Arabia’s Purchasing Managers’ Index accelerated to an eight-year high of 59.8 in February 2022.
The Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia PMI report, formerly the S&P Global Saudi Arabia PMI, added that business owners are optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s future economy.
“Businesses displayed a robust degree of confidence toward future activity as the current improved market conditions are promising, coupled with the positive expectations toward the pickup in the emerging economies,” said Naif Al-Ghaith, chief economist at Riyad Bank.