The privatization program revealed the awarding of 18 projects out of a total of 160 opportunities in 16 sectors, with the aim of reducing capital expenditures on the state’s general budget to benefit from them in operation. Among the projects that have been awarded are public-private partnership contracts in projects for the production of desalinated water, wastewater treatment projects, and projects. The development of container terminals in Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and the second cargo terminal at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh. The school buildings project included 60 schools in the Makkah Al-Mukarramah region (Makkah and Jeddah), in addition to asset sale projects such as allocating the assets of the General Organization for Grain by selling all shares The first, second, third and fourth mill companies, and the medical unit project of Saudi Airlines in Jeddah, while there are still 21 projects in different stages of offering in the municipal sector, health sector, education sector, environment, water, agriculture, labor and social development sectors. The Privatization Program, which was launched in 2018 AD, sought to identify government assets and services that are subject to privatization in a number of targeted sectors, develop a system and mechanisms for privatization, define frameworks for partnership between the public and private sectors to enhance the quality and efficiency of services, and support the contribution to economic development.
The concept of privatization means transferring ownership of assets from the government to the private sector, or entrusting the provision of specific government services to the private sector, and this includes contracts for the sale of assets in whole and in part, and partnership contracts between the public and private sectors, which can take many forms such as contracts that include the establishment of a party From the private sector by building and operating a certain asset, and transferring ownership rights in it to the government.
As a culmination of these steps, the Council of Ministers approved, in mid-March, the privatization system, which the Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Privatization Program Committee, Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, described as important to generate investment opportunities that attract the private sector and increase its contribution to the GDP to enhance the sustainability of the Kingdom’s economy.
In the year 2020 AD, and despite the Corona pandemic, a number of privatization projects were completed in the education and water sectors (and wastewater treatment and desalination) with investments from the private sector amounting to about 15 billion riyals.