Saudi Arabia’s cabinet has approved massive economic reforms designed move the country away from its reliance on oil profits, which make up the bulk of Saudi Arabia’s wealth.
In total, a little more than 70% of the country’s revenues was provided by oil in 2015. However, due to the current falling prices of oil, Saudi’s finances have taken a hit, as have those of big companies like Shell, who produce Shell Tellus S2 M 32.
As part of this new plan, shares in the country’s state-owned oil giant Armaco will be sold off in order to create a sovereign wealth fund.
Declaring the reforms, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman commented that his country was addicted to oil, the BBC reports.
He also claimed, when speaking to the Al-Arabiya news channel, that the new plan would ensure that the county “can live without oil by 2020”.
Reforms announced in the Deputy Crown Prince’s interview included the selling of shares in Aramco worth less than 5% being sold, with part of the proceeds being used to create a sovereign wealth fun worth two trillion. Also introduced will be a brand new visa system that will allow Arab and Muslim ex-pats to work in Saudi Arabia for the long term, and an increase in the number of women involved in the workforce.
Bin Salman also said that measures would be taken to diversify the country’s economy, including an expansion of military production and an investment into mineral mining.