JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia will introduce a “green card” system within five years to allow resident expatriates in the kingdom to have more rights, in a bid to improve its investment climate.
In an interview yesterday, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that planned sweeping reforms, of which the proposed green card is one, will be implemented even if oil prices rise back above $70 a barrel. He pledged to end Riyadh’s dependence on crude revenue by 2020.
The Saudi government on Monday approved a plan for vast economic reforms dubbed ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ to substantially reduce the Opec powerhouse’s reliance on oil, the official SPA news agency reported.
The plan, details of which were to be announced later Monday, focuses on privatisations, further reductions in subsidies, the sale of part of state oil giant Aramco and the creation of a giant $2 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund, the SPA reported.
Saudi Arabia’s new “Vision 2030” reform plan will not require major spending but will involve restructuring, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, adding that spending on infrastructure projects would continue.
He said Saudi Arabia plans to set up a holding company for military industries that would be fully owned by the government at first and listed later on the Saudi bourse.
“We expect it to be launched by end of 2017 with more details.”
Saudi Arabia’s new investment fund will turn the world’s top oil exporter into a global investment power, Mohammed bin Salman said.
He told the Al Arabiya television to announce sweeping reforms known as Vision 2030 that the kingdom’s existing Public Investment Fund had made returns of 30 billion ($8 billion) riyals in 2015.