Saudi Arabia approves National Transformation Plan

Saudi Arabia's cabinet has approved the National Transformation Plan, a strategy designed to turn the Kingdom into a global investment hub by 2020

Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud (above) said that through the National Transformation Plan, Saudi Arabia can eliminate its dependence on oil by 2020.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud (above) said that through the National Transformation Plan, Saudi Arabia can eliminate its dependence on oil by 2020.

Sweeping reforms that could transform Saudi Arabia into a global investment hub has been announced by several news agencies.

The National Transformation Plan is designed to greatly reduce the Kingdom's dependence on crude oil exports by 2020.

Commenting on the economic strategy, Saudi Arabia's Second Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, said: "I think by 2020, if oil stops, we can survive. We need it [now], but I think in 2020, we can live without oil."

Prince Mohammad added that the country's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been restructured to promote Saudi Arabian investment abroad. Money has been raised in part through sales of 5% of the shares in national oil giant, Saudi Aramco.

The Kingdom's existing PIF made returns of $8bn (SAR30bn) in 2015. The restructured fund is expected to raise in the region of $2tn (SAR533bn) in the lead-up to 2020.

Further details of the strategy, which comprises a package of state budget reforms, regulatory changes, and policy initiatives for the next five years, are expected to be released in four to six weeks.

The cabinet has already approved the National Transformation Plan, according to Arab News.

In a brief statement delivered on state television, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said: "We hope citizens will work together to achieve Saudi Vision 2030."

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