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Saudi prince unveils plans to end addiction to oil

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Staff writer ▼ | April 25, 2016
Mohammed bin Salman
Oil industry   A global investment power

Saudi Arabia unveiled ambitious plans aimed at ending the kingdom's "addiction" to oil and transforming it into a global investment power.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the world's top oil exporter expects state oil company Saudi Aramco to be valued at more than $2 trillion ahead of the sale of less than 5 percent of it through an initial public offering.

He added that the kingdom would raise the capital of its public investment fund to 7 trillion riyals ($2 trillion) from 600 billion riyals ($160 billion).

The plans also included changes that would alter the social structure of the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom by pushing for women to have a bigger economic role and by offering improved status to resident expatriates.

"We will not allow our country ever to be at the mercy of commodity price volatility or external markets," Prince Mohammed said.

"We have developed a case of oil addiction in Saudi Arabia," he had earlier told al-Arabiya television news channel.

His "Vision 2030" envisaged raising non-oil revenue to 600 billion riyals ($160 billion) by 2020 and 1 trillion riyals ($267 billion) by 2030 from 163.5 billion riyals ($43.6 billion) last year.


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