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Saudi Commerce Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: ‘Shareek’ Boosts Private Sector Growth, Contribution to GDP

Saudi Commerce Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: ‘Shareek’ Boosts Private Sector Growth, Contribution to GDP

Monday, 12 April, 2021 - 08:45
Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment and Acting Minister of Media Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi.

Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment and Acting Minister of Media Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi emphasized the government’s trust in the role of the private sector in creating a giant economy in the next stage and generating major investment opportunities that enhance its contribution to the GDP.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Qasabi talked about the “Shareek” program, which was recently launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, to promote partnership between the private and public sectors.

“This program establishes a new phase and a serious partnership between the public and private sectors, and its launch by the Crown Prince is an affirmation of the state’s confidence in the private sector and its important role in creating a gigantic and pioneering economy in the next phase,” he said.

Earlier this month, Crown Prince Mohammed announced that the Kingdom would boost economic activity by means of a plan to increase private sector investment. Under the Shareek program, private sector businesses will be helped to invest 5 trillion riyals between now and 2030.

Underlining the objective to increase the private sector’s contribution to the GDP to 65 percent by 2030, Qasabi noted: “The state is working to empower and support the private sector, accelerate its growth, and create great opportunities for investment through the elements that the national economy possesses and promising sectors, such as tourism, mining, industry, petrochemicals, services and technology.”

Asked about the factors that would allow the public and private sectors to achieve the goals of Shareek program, Qasabi said: “The most important achievement over the past four years is the creation of a business model for government agencies under the supervision and leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed that enabled them to become flexible and fast in their dealings with investors.”

Other factors include, according to the minister, the big purchasing power of the Saudi market and the ability of leading companies to access global markets.

On the new program’s contribution in promoting the Kingdom’s status worldwide, he said: “The Saudi economy is large and Vision 2030 has opened the way for promising programs and projects to enhance its global position.”

He added that the Kingdom was part of the G20 countries and occupied the 18th rank in the world’s largest economies, stressing that the Shareek program would speed up the progress of the Saudi economy to reach the 15th position.

“The program will also strengthen the country’s regional position as a business enabler, through proactive, innovative, smart and unique steps, in addition to facilitating the opening of new global markets, and enhancing the presence of the Saudi products in more than 178 countries,” the minister told Asharq Al-Awsat.

As for Shareek’s role in increasing the value of investments, Qasabi remarked that boosting confidence in the investment system was a government priority.

In this regard, he revealed that the volume of local investments that the program would generate would reach 5 trillion riyals (USD 1.3 trillion) by the end of 2030.

According to the minister, the program enables major national companies to expand their investments by 50 percent, develop their investment capabilities and increase their competitiveness at the regional and global levels.

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