Saudi Arabia’s Post-Oil Plan May Include Private-Sector Stimulus

  • ‘Governance framework’ released on Saudi Vision 2030 website
  • Document doesn’t provide details of potential stimulus program

Saudi Arabia is studying a program to stimulate growth in the private sector as part of its plan for life after oil, the government said, without providing details.

The Council for Economic and Development Affairs headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will take the lead on the post-oil plan, according to a document outlining the governance framework for the so-called Saudi Vision 2030 published on Thursday. A financial committee will deal with funding initiatives and medium-term spending, and the ministry of economy and planning will provide support as needed, the government said.

The plan announced on April 25 imagines a Saudi Arabia no longer dependent on oil for growth and includes plans to sell shares in Saudi Arabian Oil Co., create a sovereign wealth fund worth more than $2 trillion and increase employment and entertainment opportunities for a growing youth population.

The world’s largest oil exporter has struggled to plug its budget gap as oil prices dropped, recording a deficit equivalent to 15 percent of economic output last year and drawing down more than $100 billion of the central bank’s net foreign assets. Officials have declared that they plan to balance the budget and raise an additional $100 billion of non-oil revenue annually by 2020, a target some economists have said is unrealistic.

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