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Saudi Arabia Unlocks Investment Opportunities in Public Sector as Cabinet Approves Privatization Drive

Saudi Arabia Unlocks Investment Opportunities in Public Sector as Cabinet Approves Privatization Drive

Thursday, 18 March, 2021 - 11:15
Saudi Arabia approves privatization plan that opens partnership opportunities with investors and the private sector, Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi cabinet has approved a privatization plan aimed at increasing the participation of the private sector in the Kingdom’s infrastructure projects and provision of public services. It also works on reinforcing healthy competition according to the best international practices.

On Tuesday, the Council of Ministers passed the Private Sector Participation (PSP) Law, which works on supporting Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) in 16 different government sectors.

Supported by the National Center for Privatization (NCP), the law will contribute to spurring economic growth by supporting the launch of privatization initiatives and projects and partnerships between the public and private sectors in front of local and international investors.

It will also be instrumental to improving the balance of payments and raising the private sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP from 40% to 65%.

The NCP is currently supporting 16 sectors targeted for privatization in developing and launching a pipeline of privatization and partnership opportunities and initiatives that will contribute to unlocking state-owned assets to the local and international private sector.

Such an initiative will help advance the goals and objectives laid out by the Saudi national plan for transformation, dubbed the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The Vision aims to pump more investments into the national economy, creating attractive investment opportunities for the private sector and increasing its contribution to the GDP so as to enhance the sustainability of the Saudi economy, said Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

The minister, who is also chairman of the Privatization Program Committee and chairman of NCP’s board of directors, said that the law aims to create an environment that allows raising the volume and level of services provided to citizens and expatriates.

He added that it also establishes the necessary flexibility in the regulatory and investment environment for privatization projects in the Kingdom in a way that supports and enhances the implementation of these projects within an attractive and stimulating regulatory and investment environment for short- and long-term investments.

According to Al-Jadaan, the new law will enhance the participation of the private sector in economic growth and make available procedures related to privatization projects.

NCP CEO Rayan Naqadi, for his part, said that the law aims to raise the contribution of the private sector in government projects, enable the distribution of responsibilities and risks between the government and the private sector, reduce the government’s capital budget, and organize all activities and procedures related to implementing privatization projects.

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