Saudi Arabia and the World Bank have been in partnership since 1974 when the Kingdom signed a Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) Agreement establishing the World Bank office in Riyadh. The World Bank brings technical expertise and global knowledge to the government entities to support the country’s development agenda; the advisory program is aligned with and supports the implementation of the Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP). Over the last few years, the program expanded to cover various sectors including: improving the investment climate, education, health, labor markets, transport, energy, urban planning, economic management and planning, public financial management, business climate, PPPs, and SME strategy. The RAS engagements focus on strengthening institutional capacity within the government entities and assisting in developing legislation and policies that advance the NTP.
Saudi Arabia is a valued, active partner of the World Bank Group. Through its contributions to select funds, it reinforces its status as a key partner in the effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. Saudi Arabia has its own chair in the Board of Executive Directors and has been a major donor to the International Development Association (IDA) since its inception. In 2019, the Kingdom pledged the contribution of $400m to IDA19.
Some of the results achieved through the RAS program include the establishment of an SME center, an in-depth partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment leading to a series of reforms related to improved investment climate, support to a number of tourism-related developments in the country, an electricity sector strategy for the KSA, and programmatic support to the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Health Council.