Saudi Arabia’s economic strategy: From kitchen sink to virtuous cycle?

SourceArabian Business
CountrySaudi Arabia

If the pace and scope of economic development initiatives and policies announced during the first five years of Saudi Vision 2030 were not dizzying enough, Saudi policymakers show few signs of slowing down. Government officials aim to create a virtuous cycle of economic growth through more centralized policymaking and greater collaboration with private sector partners. The sheer scale of new initiatives, programs, and targets present many commercial opportunities.

However, the kitchen-sink approach to economic policymaking threatens to hamper substantial progress in any specific area.

In a highly anticipated interview on April 27, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a broad case for more centralization of economic policymaking, which he considers necessary to drive Vision 2030 forward. The government has reportedly set up a Budget Bureau and plans to launch a new Policies Office this year. These measures may help to provide much-needed coherence and sustainability to various economic strategies. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund recommended years ago that the Saudi government establish a broader framework to more...