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Mon 8 Jun 2015 05:26 PM

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Saudi Arabia chases investors for $140bn public transport plan

Trade delegation, supported by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, outlines 10-year plans at conference in Milan

Saudi Arabia chases investors for $140bn public transport plan

A public transport trade delegation from Saudi Arabia on Monday outlined plans for more than $140 billion worth of public transport infrastructure projects in the Gulf kingdom.

The projects which are open to public-private partnerships, form part of the country’s national transportation expansion program that covers five metro and bus projects, and thousands of kilometers of rail network. 

The Kingdom’s investment opportunities were revealed during the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) World Congress and Exhibition currently taking place in Milan, Italy.

Authorities revealed a 10 year expansion programme that will see $90 billion spent on infrastructure, rolling stock and buses and a $51 billion spend on operations.

The component market for the metro and rail network is valued at $23 billion, while rolling stock and bus manufacturing are estimated to be at $9 billion each. 

The announcement follows Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority's (SAGIA) renewed efforts to increase foreign investment to the kingdom by streamlining the ease of doing business and introducing an investment fast-track program with a focus on key sectors such as transportation.

The delegation in Milan includes senior executives from the Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority, Arriyadh Development Authority, Madinah Development Authority, Makkah Rail Transit Company and Jeddah Metro Company. 

Abdulaziz Al-Ohaly, president of the Public Transportation Authority, said: “UTIP Milan has also given us the chance to share the exciting new developments in rail projects in the kingdom that should provide opportunities for all to take part in.

“These opportunities have been identified following a royal decree to all government ministries to use government spending initiatives to provide incentives for foreign businesses to localize in Saudi Arabia.”

Faisal Bafarat, executive director for Investment Development at SAGIA added: “These incentives are huge - over the next ten years, Saudi Arabia will spend $140 billion on metro and national railway projects alone in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, and across the kingdom.

“Companies that decide to set up shop in Saudi Arabia will not only have access to billions worth of projects domestically, but they will also have access to a larger and continuously developing market containing 300 million people living just within a three hour flight of Riyadh.”

The Saudi delegation will be engaging with international investors at UITP to discuss specific opportunities.

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