Saudi Arabia to embark on non-oil econmy

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

Saudi Arabia is preparing for the end of the oil age by creating a $2 trillion investment fund which is set to be ‘the largest on Earth’

Saudi King Salman  Bin Abdul Aziz
Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

In an interview Bloomberg, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees the fund, claims that the initial public offering could happen as soon as next year.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) established by the kingdom’s second-in-line to the throne will eventually be large enough to buy Google, Apple and Microsoft with money to spare, the Daily Mail reported.

It comes as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, insists that it will only freeze its oil output if other key producers, including Iran, take a similar measure.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

‘What is left now is to diversify investments,’ the 30-year-old prince told Bloomberg, during an interview from the royal compound in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh.

‘So within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil.’

It is nearly 80 years since the first oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia but, with crude prices plummeting worldwide, the nation plans to shake its dependence on the market.

One of the first steps will be for Saudi Arabia to sell shares in Aramco’s parent company, which will transform the oil giant into an ‘industrial conglomerate’.

According to the prince, the son of King Salman, the sale of Aramco could come as early as 2017.