Saudi targets raising $55 billion from privatisation plan

The finance minister opened a high-level conference entitled “2021 G20 Infrastructure Investors Dialogue: Financing Sustainable Infrastructure for the Recovery…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the Kingdom is seeking to raise $55 billion from a privatisation plan.

According to Arab News report, Al-Jadaan said the Kingdom had recently announced a privatisation plan that includes identifying 160 projects in 16 sectors, including asset sales and public-private partnerships.

“Our goal is to secure about $55 billion from the privatization plan, of which $16.5 billion will be in public-private partnerships,” Arab News quoted Al-Jadaan as saying.

“We are looking forward to using the private sector to manage and finance infrastructure, health services, urban transport networks, school buildings, airport services, water desalination plants, and sewage treatment through these partnerships, in order to ensure better, more cost-effective and efficient implementation that reduces the use of materials and energy, while providing improved products and services for the benefit of citizens and the world at large,” he added.

The finance minister opened a high-level conference entitled “2021 G20 Infrastructure Investors Dialogue: Financing Sustainable Infrastructure for the Recovery,” along with Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Daniele Franco, in the presence of a number of G20 finance ministers, international and regional organisations, representatives of the private sector, senior investors and asset managers, it was reported.

Al-Jadaan said that infrastructure plays an important role in promoting economic activities, fundamentally supports productivity, and provides a solid foundation for robust, inclusive and sustainable growth, it was reported.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) statement highlighting positive results of the Saudi economic reforms, projecting continuation in the economic recovery, and expected decline in the unemployment rate and inflation.

The IMF staff projected real GDP growth at 2.1% this year and 4.8 % in 2022 (compared to a contraction of -4.1 % in 2020) and rebounded recovery of real non-oil GDP growth in the second half of 2020. The high-frequency indicators also suggest continued recovery in 2021.

The real non-oil GDP growth recovery is projected to reach 3.9% in 2021 and 3.6% in 2022 compared to a decline of 2.3 % in 2020. In light of the production levels agreed by OPEC+, real oil GDP growth is projected to reach -0.5% in 2021 (compared to -6.7% in 2020), and 6.8 % in 2022 as the OPEC+ agreement is assumed to end as announced.

The statement also underscored the success of the Saudi government’s swift and decisive containment measures to limit COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

It also commented on the effective role of fiscal policies, and financial sector and employment initiatives launched by the government and the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) that helped cushion the impact of the pandemic on individuals and the private sector.

The IMF also commended the Kingdom’s strong economic fundamentals supported by “Vision 2030”, which enabled establishing robust governance and cooperation between ministries and entities.

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