Transportation and logistics in Saudi Arabia will receive an investment push of SAR 550 billion (about USD 147 billion) over the next nine years, Saudi Arabia’s transportation minister Saleh Al Jasser said at an event earlier this week.
The investment drive was announced as a public-private collaboration, with 35% of total spending coming from the government and the rest from private players. The boost for transportation and logistics in Saudi Arabia will include a new international airline, airport expansion plans, a wider train network, and technological integration, Al Jasser said.
Many of the projects were “bankable” and “attractive,” the minister noted, adding that they represented big opportunities for both local and international private partnerships. The announcement is the latest in a slew of initiatives taken by the Saudi government to diversify the country’s economy away from oil and drive up its non-oil revenues through its national Vision 2030 agenda.
REBOOTING TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS IN SAUDI ARABIA
Prior to the investment announcement, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had announced a new strategy for transportation and logistics in Saudi Arabia last week. The strategy aims to position the country as a global hub for logistics, with improved and integrated transportation services.
Transportation is at the heart of this strategy. Saudi Arabia will soon have a new international airline based in Riyadh, open over 250 international aviation routes, triple total annual passenger traffic to 330 million by 2030, and expand annual capacity at King Khalid International Airport and King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Logistics in Saudi Arabia will also receive a boost, with the total length of railway tracks to be increased to 8,080 kilometres, including the "land bridge" project, which will have an annual capacity of over three million passengers and 50 million tons of freight. The project will connect Saudi ports in the Arabian Gulf with ports along the Red Sea coast.
The strategy aims to increase GDP contributions from transportation and logistics in Saudi Arabia. Currently at 6%, the strategy aims to grow this to 10%, increasing non-oil revenues from the sector to SAR 45 billion by 2030.
“The strategy will enable our country to invest its geographical position in the middle of the three continents in diversifying our economy by establishing an advanced logistics services industry, building high-quality systems of services, and applying competitive business models to enhance productivity and sustainability in the logistics sector," the Crown Prince said about the strategy for reinforcing logistics in Saudi Arabia.
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