Saudi Arabia has launched 192 billion riyals ($51.2 billion) of investment with major local companies such as oil giant Aramco, SABIC, and Ma’aden, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday. This forms part of a government-backed initiative to diversify the Saudi economy.
In 2021, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Shareek initiative, which will see the Saudi government and a group of partner companies invest a total of 5 trillion riyals into the private sector. The aim of the project is to diversify the gulf nation’s economy away from oil by 2030.
The government has approved the first batch of projects, which includes five investments by Aramco in petrochemicals, cloud computing, and ship engines, Shareek chief executive Abdulaziz Al-Arifi confirmed.
Other projects include ACWA Power’s plan to build the world’s largest green hydrogen plant as well as SABIC’s construction of Saudi Arabia’s first catalyst manufacturing hub. Shareek is also expected to be involved in investments across the telecommunications and logistics sectors.
While local investment is on the rise, the Kingdom is still struggling to attract foreign investment, which reached just $4.1 billion during the first half of 2020. This is a long way off Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, in which the nation aims to secure $100 billion in foreign investments.