Saudi Arabia to raise up to $11bn through privatisation initiatives

The plan includes over 100 initiatives in a number of sectors
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 25 Apr 2018 10:57 AM

The government of Saudi Arabia plans to generate between $9 billion and $11 billion in revenue by 2020 through a privatisation programme that will create as many as 12,000 jobs, according to a document published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.

The initiative targets 14 separate private-public partnership investments worth between $6.4 billion and $7.4 billion, and will lead to the corporatisation of Saudi Arabia’s ports, the production portion of the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation and the Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant, according to the document.

Additionally, the plan calls for the privatisation of the national football league, as well as flour mills at the General Silos and Flour Mills Organisation and certain transportation sector services, while the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre will be converted into a non-profit organisation.

In total, the programme includes over 100 initiatives across more than 10 sectors and targets $16.6 billion in non-government investment by 2020, with the ultimate aim of contributing $3.7 billion to the kingdom’s GDP and as much as $8.8 billion in government savings.

“The privatisation programme aims to strengthen competition, raise the quality of services and economic development, improve the business environment, and remove obstacles that prevent the private sector from playing a bigger role in the kingdom’s development,” said Saudi economy minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri.

According to the document, the bulk of processes will be limited to corporatisation and preparatory procedures, with full privatisation to only take place in 2020.

The plan calls for the introduction of an indicator which measures the privatisation process based on the number of bids submitted by private sector entities, with their total value compared to the original value.

As part of its Vision 2030 economic reforms, Saudi Arabia has previously said it plans to raise approximately $200 billion through privatisation efforts, in addition to $100 billion from the sale of a five percent stake in Saudi Aramco.

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