On May 20th, Edward Burton, President and CEO of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC), participated in a panel discussion on Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the multitude of opportunities that it presents to businesses across a wide spectrum of industries. Organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR), the event brought together approximately 100 from the private and public sectors. Mr. Burton was joined on the panel by Dr. Paul Sullivan, Professor of Economics at the National Defense University and Senior International Affairs Fellow of NCUSAR, and Mr. Fahad Nazer, International Affairs Fellow of NCUSAR, and Consultant to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
In his remarks, Mr. Burton spoke on the rationale of Vision 2030, its policies and objectives, as well as the role of the recently created Council of Economic and Development Affairs. He noted that the proposed programs under Vision 2030 include government restructuring, privatization, Public Investment Fund restructuring, a strategic transformation of Saudi Aramco, and new strategic partnerships with foreign countries and the private sector. Specifically, Mr. Burton talked about the upcoming IPO of Saudi Aramco, where up to 5 percent of the company will become available for purchase by investors. He also discussed Vision 2030’s objectives for the healthcare sector in which the private sector contribution will increase to 35 percent up from 25 percent. Furthermore, Vision 2030 will increase private sector participation in infrastructure including airports, rail, ports, and road development.