Saudization is effectively changing the shape of the Saudi economy by tackling the unemployment issues the Kingdom has been dealing with. The Saudi nationalization scheme is a key component of the Vision 2030, a plan to diversify the Saudi economy from its oil dependence. By hiring more Saudi’s and allowing for business startups to set up more easily, the new plans are going to entirely make over the Saudi economy.
The economy of the Kingdom is in the top twenty economies in the world, as part of the G20 (Group of 20). As the land with the second largest petroleum reserves in the world, Saudi Arabia relied on oil throughout most of its history. In 2016, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman announced the Vision 2030. In 2019, the Kingdom’s economy recorded its first surplus since 2014, indicating a notable change upon the implementation of Saudization.
Saudi Arabia is currently in the process of making fast and unprecedented changes; in an attempt to attract new business ventures, a new entrepreneurial license was issued by SAGIA (Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority) in 2018. During the same year, foreign investments boomed with a 110% increase. During the last quarter of 2019, Saudi government began to reduce spending when growth in the private sector was recorded. Indicators point towards a fast and efficient Saudization process and a rapid execution of the Vision 2030 plans.
In order to make these changes happen, the Saudi government is also working on improving the business experience for small business owners; as the year began, a new regulatory change allowed businesses to open 24/7. It became one of many threads meant to put together the ‘New Saudi.’ As the people of Saudi become its face to the world, the government also makes it easier for investors to visit and search for entrepreneurial opportunities; in 2020, a new visit visa rule allowed for UK, U.S. and Schengen visa holders to enter the Kingdom with a visa on arrival.
The economy of Saudi Arabia was historically associated with the Kingdom’s oil riches, but the Vision 2030 along with Saudization are executive plans designed to involve Saudi nationals in the transformation of their country’s economy.