Saudi Focus

$426bn sought for infrastructure plan

February 2019

Saudi Arabia unveiled a sweeping plan late last month to develop infrastructure and industry across the world’s leading oil-exporting nation.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has embarked on the biggest overhaul of the Saudi economy in its modern history, presided over the signing of agreements in planned deals before an invite-only audience in Riyadh, according to a Bloomberg report.

The agreements covered four key economic sectors — mining, industry, logistics and energy.

The programme will net more than $426 billion in investments by 2030 and add 1.6 million new jobs, said the report.

Known as the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, the planned investment includes some projects that have already started and combines efforts across different industries.

Some of Saudi Aramco projects are also expected to come under the umbrella of the new programme, including an industrial park on the Arabian Gulf coast.

According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia’s push for investment in railways, airports and industrial projects marks the latest effort by the biggest Arab economy to break its reliance on crude sales for government income.

The Saudi government is ready to put its money into financing projects alongside international investors. Funding for projects including a new airport and rail links could require hundreds of billions of riyals in state spending. 

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