Saudi Arabia speeds up privatisation plans with PPP

Saudi Arabia is committed and dedicated to the economic transformation program and is witnessing a lot of progress. The plan outlines and summarizes measures to elevate the participation of the private sector in areas including education, healthcare, transportation, media, water and (non-oil) energy.

The improvements can be credited to the government’s privatisation laws which fast-track processes by removing many licences, regulations and permits.

The country has already sold a number of shares in Saudi Aramco as well as leasing the rights over the oil pipelines which raised SAR 46.5 billion (USD 12.4 billion) this year. Saudi Arabia realised SAR 3.0 billion (USD 800 million) from the sale of two flour mills which was followed by the sale of two other flour mills for SAR 2.8 billion (USD 740 million) in 2020.

In addition, the government of Saudi Arabia through the National Centre for Privatisations (NCP) is looking to enter into agreements with private investors to develop new public infrastructure (including a number of schools) at a value of SAR 15 billion (USD 4 billion) before the end of the year. The volume would be the highest since the institution’s establishment in 2017. The NCP has a mandate for the sale of non-oil and gas assets in Saudi Arabia. The NCP is also expected to sell part of the Ras Al Khair desalination plant and other assets this year.

The organisation predicts more public-private partnerships and divestments in 2022 and 2023 as part of a push to stimulate Saudi Arabia’s economy and to attract more foreign direct investment.

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