Faisal Al Nasser | Reuters
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks to the media during Saudi government ministers brief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 19, 2018.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract 1.6 trillion riyals (nearly $429 billion) in private sector investment over the next 10 years for a landmark infrastructure and industrial program as part of its economic diversification campaign, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih announced Saturday.
The plan aims to channel investments through the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, which was established under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 program. That sweeping initiative is dedicated to diversifying the kingdom’s economy away from oil reliance and creating private sector jobs for Saudi nationals.
A more detailed announcement will come Monday, which al-Falih said will reveal projects worth 70 billion riyals in the energy, mining, industry and logistics sectors. He described those projects as “ready for negotiations” and added that $50 billion in further projects related to the military, chemicals and small businesses would be announced at a later, though unspecified, date.
The country’s transport minister said the program will include 60 logistics initiatives including five new airports and 200 kilometers (124 miles) of railroads.
“It is quite ambitious but it is over a 10-year period so we have the time to do it,” al-Falih told a media conference.
The government will seek both domestic and foreign investment, the minister added. He said he expected a “huge contribution” from the private sector internationally but that authorities “would leave the bigger share for the Saudi private sector.”