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Saudi Arabia has embarked on a major economic and social transformation outlined in its Vision 2030: diversification away from oil and a renewed social contract.

It is expected that the "thriving economy" foreseen in Vision 2030 will be achieved through major change in the economic model, with a shift towards a new paradigm based on increased productivity. To achieve this, the role of the state is changing from driver of the economy to enabler of private sector-led growth. The transition is focusing on four key elements: (i) raising the quality of human capital, (ii) an improved business environment capable of attracting foreign investment, (iii) a high-quality public administration, and (iv) a flexible and competitive labor market.

Saudi Arabia and the World Bank have signed the first Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) Agreement. Under the TCP, the World Bank brings technical expertise and global knowledge to government entities to support the country’s development agenda. The advisory program is aligned with, and supports, the implementation of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program. Over the last few years, the program has been 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, digital economy, PPPs, and SME strategy. The RAS engagements focus on strengthening institutional capacity within government entities and assisting in developing the legislation and policies that advance Vision 2030 goals and objectives.

In addition to working with the World Bank through RAS, the Kingdom has also become a key development partner to the World Bank. For example, the government pledged US$700m to IDA20 in December 2021 and, prior to that, US$400m to IDA19 just two years earlier. Through its contributions to other selected funds, the KSA reinforces its status as a key partner to the World Bank in the effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity worldwide.

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2022

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