Saudi companies to invest $51B under government-backed plan
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has launched 192 billion riyals ($51.2 billion) of investments led by local companies, including oil giant Aramco, SABIC and Ma’aden, under a government-backed initiative, state news agency SPA reported.
The projects are part of a program called Shareek, a 5-trillion-riyal investment initiative announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021, as the kingdom works with the private sector to diversify away from oil by 2030.
The program has approved the first batch of projects, including five investments by Aramco in petrochemicals, cloud computing and ship engines, SPA reported, citing a statement from Abdulaziz Al-Arifi, the chief executive of Shareek.
ACWA Power will get backing to build the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, Ma’aden will receive support to boost production of phosphate fertilizers and SABIC will build the kingdom’s first catalyst manufacturing hub, SPA added.
Other investments in the telecommunications and logistics will also receive Shareek support.
Prince Mohammed had announced 12 trillion riyals of investments that the kingdom is planning by 2030, which include the Shareek program, 3 trillion riyals from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and 2 trillion in foreign investment.
As part of the plans, officials have also pressed international companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and move their regional headquarters to Riyadh in order to benefit from government contracts.
But the kingdom has struggled to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), one of the pillars of Vision 2030, which reached just under $4.1 billion in the first half of 2022, a fraction of the $100 billion target for the end of the decade.
($1 = 3.7524 riyals)