Saudi 2030 plan praised for “unprecedented boldness”

Riyadh citySaudi Arabia’s economic plan, Vision 2030, which aims to cut oil dependence and unemployment while privatising state assets was praised for its “unprecedented boldness”.

However, Hasnain Malik of emerging markets specialist Exotix Partners also said it is unknown whether the planned revolution in the economy and society can be achieved in 15 years.

“A long-term strategy, or vision, is now in place,” he wrote, in a statement. “Whether it is implemented effectively and is ultimately successful remains to be seen.”

The Vision 2030 plan, which was announced by the king and discussed by the deputy crown prince in a TV interview, aims to increase Saudi Arabia’s share of non-oil exports by 16% to 50%, helping to reduce the country’s depending on oil.

The plan also aims to cut unemployment from 12% to 7%, in part by raising women’s participation in the workforce.

Vision 2030 confirms that there is to be an initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, valued at $2 trillion. This would make the company the most valuable in world, overtaking Apple which has a market capitalisation of $607 billion. The IPO would begin with a 5% listing followed by subsidiary IPOs.

Other initiatives include expanding the country’s Public Investment Fund to $2 trillion, a “green card” system for long-term expatriate residents and the creation of an Islamic museum.

©2016 funds global mena

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