We will further pursue public-private partnerships, continue to facilitate the flow of private investment and improve our competitiveness. We will develop the necessary capabilities to increase the quality and reliability of our services. We will coordinate with legislative authorities to review current regulations with the aim of improving the business environment and enforcing contracts. Where it exists in strategic locations, we will also capitalize on the government’s reserves of real estate. We will allocate prime areas within cities for educational institutions, retail and entertainment centers, large areas along our coasts will be dedicated to tourist projects and appropriate lands will be allocated for industrial projects. We will enable banks and other financial institutions to adapt their financial products and services to the needs of each sector, ranging from large project capital funding to short-term working capital for small businesses. We will also facilitate and expedite licensing procedures based on our national economic priorities. We will apply international legal and commercial regulations strictly and create a business environment conducive to long-term investment. We will strive to facilitate the movement of people and goods, and to simplify customs procedures at our ports. As a result, we will create an environment attractive to both local and foreign investors, and earn their confidence in the resilience and potential of our national economy.
We are aware that the economic cities of the last decade did not realize their potential. Work has halted in several cities, and others face challenges that threaten their viability. We have worked in cooperation with Aramco to restructure Jizan Economic City. We will strive to salvage other economic cities, especially those with comparative advantages. To achieve this, we will work with the companies owning those cities to revamp them and transfer vital facilities. This effort will depend on the readiness of these companies to work with the government. Our aim is for these cities to contribute in the development of the economy and to attract quality investments as well as local and international talent, all kept in line with our national priorities.
We will create special zones in exceptional and competitive locations. We shall take into account the comparative advantages of the Kingdom’s different regions, assess their feasibility for promising sectors, and then establish special zones, such as logistic, tourist, industrial and financial ones. Special regulations to boost investment possibilities and diversify government revenues will be applied to these zones.
We plan to raise the efficiency of the government’s support system and make the best use of its benefits by redirecting it and targeting eligible citizens and economic sectors. For example, we understand that providing subsidies with no clear eligibility criteria is a substantial obstacle to the energy sector’s competitiveness. Free market prices shall, in the long term, stimulate productivity and competitiveness among utility companies and open the door to investment and diversification of the energy mix in the Kingdom. We will also seek to set clear subsidy criteria based on the maturity of economic sectors, their ability to compete locally and internationally and their actual need for subsidies, without endangering promising and strategic sectors.