Saudi Govt key body ap­proves 133 eco­nomic re­forms

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

One of Saudi Ara­bia's most in­flu­en­tial eco­nomic pol­i­cy­mak­ing bod­ies has ap­proved 133 rec­om­men­da­tions on im­prov­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the king­dom's econ­omy, which will be an­nounced within the next six months.

The com­ments, by Ab­dul­latif Al Oth­man, gov­er­nor of the Saudi Ara­bian Gen­eral In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity (SAGIA), are the first time that an of­fi­cial of min­is­te­rial rank has talked about de­tails of the Na­tional Trans­for­ma­tion Plan (NTP) since it was first an­nounced three months ago. NTP is a plan in­volv­ing a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant re­forms to the econ­omy of the world's top crude oil ex­porter to help it weather the im­pact of lower oil prices and di­ver­sify away from re­liance on hy­dro­car­bon rev­enues.

NTP is be­ing over­seen by the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Affairs (CEDA), headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, and is ex­pected to im­ple­ment changes in­clud­ing pri­vati­sa­tions of state as­sets and re­duc­tions of state sub­si­dies when for­mally an­nounced in the com­ing weeks.

CEDA has ap­proved about 133 rec­om­men­da­tions to im­prove busi­ness com­pet­i­tive­ness, Oth­man told a news con­fer­ence on Tues­day. He is head of the body which aims to pro­mote for­eign in­vest­ment into Saudi Ara­bia. It re­ports into CEDA.

Th­ese pro­pos­als are cen­tred around eight main pil­lars of the pri­vate sec­tor and will in­clude mea­sures on trans­parency and con­sis­tency of laws. "They are very low hang­ing fruit but ma­jor ini­tia­tives that will be an­nounced within the next six months. You will see ma­jor de­ci­sions on very crit­i­cal is­sues that are of in­ter­est for both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors," said Oth­man.

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