Saudi Arabia publishes draft law on lucrative PPPs

Rules on foreign real estate ownership may be relaxed, according to the draft law published by Saudi Arabia's National Centre for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnership
Saudi Arabia publishes draft law on lucrative PPPs
National Centre for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships said that it is seeking comments and feedback on the draft law for three weeks, ending on July 29
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 10 Jul 2018 09:17 AM

Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships (NCP) has published a draft law on private-public sector partnerships as the kingdom prepares to launch infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars and seeks to woo foreign investors.

The 50-page draft ‘public sector participation law’ was published in its entirety late on Sunday, and outlines exemptions for investors when it comes to real estate ownership and labour laws, as well as a number of regulations.

In a statement, the NCP said that it is seeking comments and feedback on the draft law for three weeks, ending on July 29.

In late April, the Saudi government announced 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.

At the time, the government said that the initiative would target 14 separate private-public investments worth between $6.4 billion and $7.4 billion, and will lead to the corporatisation of the kingdom’s ports, the production portion of the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation and the Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant.

The text of the draw law notes that some government employees may ultimately have to be transferred from projects, and that companies may be exempt from meeting requirements for the ratio of Saudi nationals in their companies.

The draft law also said that rules on foreign real estate ownership may be relaxed.

“Non-Saudis may own real estate in whole or in part, except for properties located within the boundaries of the cities of Makkah and Medina,” the text said.

The new draft law also allows bidders to appeal PPP contracts by the government within a 10-day period though the government entity’s or the NCP’s website.

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