© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) 41st Summit in Al-Ula
LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom offers investment opportunities worth $6 trillion over the next decade, with new projects representing half of this value, the state news agency reported, citing his speech at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. The opportunities are part of the young prince’s Vision 2030, aimed at ending the kingdom’s dependence on oil and transforming it into a global investment power. The prince, known in the West as MbS, plans to create new sectors and develop domestic projects that would create jobs for millions of Saudis, through the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign investment fund that acts as the main vehicle boosting investments at home and abroad. PIF will finance 85% of these opportunities along with the Saudi private sector, while the remaining financing will come from capital investments from investors in the Gulf and globally, Saudi Press Agency said, quoting the prince’s speech. The PIF is the cornerstone investor in a number of mega projects including a high-tech economic zone dubbed NEOM planned for an area close to the size of Belgium, an entertainment park outside Riyadh called Qiddiya being built on a site 2-1/2 times larger than Disney World, and a luxury tourist resort off the Red Sea coast that will span 50 islands. This week, Prince Mohammed unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, with infrastructure costs of $100 billion to $200 billion. The world’s top oil exporter is expected to borrow tens of billions of dollars this year to fill state coffers hit by lower oil prices and to boost liquidity at the PIF.
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