Saudi Arabia's National Development Fund to triple non-oil GDP by 2030 under new strategy

The fund has pumped more than $184bn through its affiliates since it was founded in 2017

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced a new strategy for the kingdom's National Development Fund. Reuters

Saudi Arabia's National Development Fund aims to triple the kingdom's non-oil gross domestic product to 605 billion Saudi riyals ($161bn) by 2030.

As part of a new strategy revealed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the fund's chairman, NDF will also contribute more than 570bn riyals to the kingdom’s real GDP growth, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The strategy of the National Development Fund aims to support the sustainable development goals of all economic sectors by transforming it into an integrated national financial institution to contribute to achieving the goals of the kingdom's Vision 2030,” Prince Mohammed said on Monday.

The new strategy is based on “activating the kingdom's development goals by securing financial savings for development funds and banks, in addition to enabling them to achieve a … sustainable portfolio and enabling the private sector to enhance its role in development financing and benefit from harmonisation and commercial and operational integration”, he said.

The NDF was established in 2017 to oversee economic development funds across several ministries in the kingdom.

It supervises the financing activities carried out by its development funds and banks and co-ordinates policies to improve their performance and support economic priorities in line with Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 aims to reduce the kingdom's reliance on oil, create more job opportunities and attract private investment to boost economic development.

The fund, which has assets worth 496bn riyals, has pumped more than 690bn Saudi riyals through its affiliates since it was founded and is “one of the largest development financing funds in terms of the ratio of assets to GDP” in the G20 group, SPA reported.

In October last year, NDF partnered with the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock to support projects worth up to 200bn riyals in “vital” sectors of the kingdom over the next decade.

The national infrastructure fund will invest in projects in sectors such as transport, water, energy, health, education, telecoms and digital infrastructure.

As part of its new strategy, the fund will support the kingdom’s diversification strategy, encourage exports and local industries and work as an “effective tool to face the fluctuations of economic challenges”, said NDF deputy chairman Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri.

“We have a great opportunity to enhance the efficiency of government development funds and banks in terms of identifying and investing financing opportunities throughout the kingdom, as well as enhancing their collaborative efforts with the aim of sharing services and reducing overlaps,” said NDF governor Stephen Groff.

“Its operations will mainly contribute to building more robust and sustainable financial institutions that operate with the best international practices, and the success of the implementation of the fund’s strategy will support efforts to … improve the quality of life, create new and sustainable jobs, and raise the kingdom’s reputation on the international scene in a step that leads to attracting more foreign investments.”

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Updated: March 15, 2022, 6:48 AM
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