Saudi Looks To Refocus Vision Reforms

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has reaffirmed his commitment to radical reforms to transform its economy after last week’s reversal of benefits cuts ( MEES, 28 April ). The ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 was launched over a year ago and aims to end the kingdom’s reliance on oil ( MEES, 29 April 2016 ).

The kingdom this week announced 10 new development initiatives or “programs” to complement a few hundred initiatives unveiled in June 2016 as part of the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP) intended to wean the economy off oil revenues ( MEES, 10 June 2016 ).

Speaking at the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2017 on 2-3 May in Riyadh, Finance Minister Muhammad al-Jad’an said that the government has allocated more than SR40bn ($10.7bn) for NTP in the 2017 budget and that a further SR220bn ($58.7bn) will be earmarked for the NTP over the subsequent three years. Prince Muhammad, architect of Saudi Vision, says the programs are part of the NTP projects and are expected to be launched gradually in the next six months or so. (CONTINUED - 744 WORDS)