Saudi Arabia makes new pitch for $400 billion investment

Saudi Arabia makes new pitch for $400 billion investment
Copyright 2019 CNN
Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih

Saudi Arabia has unveiled a new bid to lure investments in the biggest such initiative since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Under a new industry and logistics program, the country is looking for private sector help to develop its manufacturing, mining, energy and logistics sectors, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The country’s energy minister, Khalid Al Falih will announce projects worth $18.6 billion (70 billion riyals) on Monday, Reuters reported citing the minister. The kingdom will later announce $50 billion in projects in the military, chemicals and small business sectors.

In total, the kingdom plans to attract $427 billion in domestic and foreign investment. The kingdom is also planning five new airports and 1,200 miles of railways, Reuters said.

The move is part of Vision 2030, the country’s ambitious plan to diversify its economy away from oil over the next decade. One of its goals is to raise the private sector’s contribution to the GDP to 65% from 40%.

The latest logistics program includes 330 initiatives “and will achieve more than one third of the objectives of the vision of the Kingdom 2030.” the Saudi Press Agency said citing Al Falih.

Saudi Arabia is trying to recover from a global backlash following the killing of Khashoggi. Top foreign executives pulled out of the country’s flagship investment conference after the murder. Businesses have been hesitant to deepen their exposure to the kingdom ever since.