With the imminent implementation of the privatization plan for Saudi government sectors, economists have underlined the necessity of choosing the best implementation tools and taking into account the interests of the different parties.
Earlier this month, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammad Al-Jadaan announced the entry into force of the privatization system within 45 days, which would enable the private sector to provide government services and launch new investments.
Dr. Osama bin Ghanim al-Obaidi, professor of international commercial law at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh, told Asharq Al-Awsat that privatization in the Kingdom was not something new, as experience has shown tangible improvement in the services provided, citing as an example the privatization of the telecommunications sector.
The coming period is expected to witness same successes with the privatization of other vital sectors, according to Obaidi, who noted that Saudi Arabia was seeking to increase privatization plans to reduce the burden on the state’s general budget and boost the private sector’s participation in the GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030.
He added that the privatization of government sectors would stimulate the participation of the private sector according to transparent and fair procedures and activate the work of the relevant supervisory committees.
According to Obaidi, privatization has proven its effectiveness in stopping financial squandering and administrative corruption, raising the quality and efficiency of services, increasing the effectiveness of the regulatory and supervisory role of agencies, stimulating and activating economic diversity and increasing competitiveness to face challenges at the regional and international levels. It will also contribute to attracting foreign investments, improving the balance of payments and providing more job opportunities.
Financial market analyst Hamad Al-Olayan told Asharq Al-Awsat that after about a month, government sectors and agencies will enter the privatization program to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, through the implementation of an integrated package of policies aimed at relying on the private sector.
“Precise studies will facilitate the identification of activities that can be allocated to the private sector to allow it to become a partner in the state’s economic development,” he underlined.