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Saudi hopes to create over 1 million jobs with nationalization

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RIYADH: A new nationalization program is being proposed in Saudi Arabia which is likely to create over one million jobs for the population in the next 15 years.

According to a foreign news agency, the program will be brought for voting in the Shura Council this week.

Member of the Shura Council Abdulrahman Al-Rashid stated that the local investors and enterprises will be empowered through the programme and utilization of the local raw material will be preferred.

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Al-Rashid said, “The plan aims to develop a Saudi workforce which is skilled and educated enough to power the wheels of production. It envisages projects to cut down foreign imports and increase national output,”

He added, “The country’s dependence on oil revenue has decreased from 13 per cent in 2009 to 8 per cent in 2013. By empowering and developing local industries with increasing productivity, unifying standards of measurement and regulating prices, the kingdom will be able to become a fierce competitor in the global market.”

A Saudi man shows Saudi riyal banknotes at a money exchange shop, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RTX237Q2

“Billions of riyals are spent annually to meet the needs of government projects. This money could be saved and spent more productively for the benefit of society if the manufacturing sector is nationalised and if there is no need to import goods and equipment from abroad,” he said.

A high-level commission — including members from the ministries of Commerce and Investment, Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Labor and Social Development, Economy, Planning and Finance — will be formed for the nationalization programme.

Representatives of Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Maaden, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Saudi Electricity Company and three businessmen from private sector will also be included in the high-level commission.

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Saudi contractors will be given priority for the infrastructure projects and the foreign contractors will be bound to purchase the equipment from local manufacturers.

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