RIYADH: The pace of Saudi Arabia’s privatization program is accelerating with investments now exceeding $50 billion, the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the National Center for Privatization Projects Muhammad Al-Jadaan has revealed.
During his participation in the roundtable discussions with consortia of South Korean firms in Seoul, Al-Jadaan pointed out that the investments are being seen in 200 projects across 17 sectors.
The program’s pipeline also includes another 300 projects currently under evaluation.
Even though the government started the journey of privatization and partnership between the public and private sectors recently, it has achieved significant goals during the short period of time, the minister noted.
This comes as the Kingdom’s privatization program – which is the largest and widest in the Middle East – has completed the privatization of 30 projects during the past five years, he said.
Al-Jadaan went on to demonstrate the depth of the relationship between Korean investors and the system of privatization and partnership projects between the public and private sectors in Saudi Arabia.
"The Kingdom has adopted a modern framework for privatization and partnership projects between the public and private sectors that is flexible and based on international best practices," the finance minister explained.
The current projects across different sectors in the Kingdom and the privatization and partnership program in South Korea share some common areas in terms of providing investment opportunities that are proportionate with the firms’ expertise and capabilities.
Saudi Arabia wants to attract more Korean companies in the Kingdom in order to benefit from their respective expertise and resources in the privatization and partnership program, as well as to consolidate strong and close relations between the two countries, he stressed.
In November, Saudi Arabia and South Korea agreed to increase cooperation in the field of renewable energy, clean hydrogen, and electricity, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
This came during a virtual meeting held between Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman and South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang on Nov. 2.