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Saudi Arabia 2020 - Long Term Opportunities in the Middle East’s Biggest Market - MEED Insights

Saudi Arabia 2020 - Long Term Opportunities in the Middle East’s Biggest Market - MEED Insights


Saudi vision disrupted by Covid-19 but goals remain the same

On 26 March 2020, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud chaired an emergency summit of G20 leaders to address the devastation being caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The crisis meeting came three weeks after Riyadh upset the global economic order when it said that it was increasing oil production to record levels following the collapse of the agreement between the Opec+ group of oil producers to cap oil output to prop up oil prices. The result was a crash in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is without question, the most important market in the Middle East. As the region’s biggest economy and home of Islam’s most important sites, the kingdom dominates the regional landscape. The events in March 2020 provide a reminder, if one was needed, that Riyadh is also a key actor on the global stage, and that it is no longer content to operate quietly in the backroom of global politics.

Despite decades of diversification initiatives, the Saudi economy remains dependent on government spending, and on oil. That is changing. The launch in April 2016 of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform agenda set a new path for a more diversified, private sector-led economy. In October 2017, Riyadh unveiled a series of ‘gigaprojects’, including the $500bn Neom future city, to drive investment and business opportunities. In late 2019, a new round of reforms opened up the tourism market.

Critical to the vision are the country’s $1.4 trillion of major projects planned or under construction. Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest projects market in the region, nearly double the size of the next largest market, the UAE. The kingdom is home to almost half of all projects planned in the GCC. But the collapse in global economic activity caused by the Covid-19 crisis, and the subsequent crash in oil prices has raised questions about the prospects for Vison 2030 and the Saudi projects sector. In the short-to-medium term, Riyadh’s diversification drive will be severely disrupted. The crisis has introduced urgent economic and health challenges at home and abroad that must take priority.

The fall in oil revenues coupled with massive stimulus spending and monetary easing initiatives aimed at mitigating the economic disruption will rewrite the kingdom’s fiscal and business landscape for years to come. Riyadh will continue to invest, but its priorities have shifted. Social infrastructure and oil and gas projects now have the highest priority. Investment will continue, but the pace of spending will slow. Rising budget deficits will force Riyadh to increase borrowing and tap new sources of finance. Budgets will be rewritten to minimise deficit and debt growth.

Over the long term, Saudi Arabia’s strategic goals are unchanged. The kingdom’s growing population of over 32 million people is driving demand for all kinds of goods and services, ranging from consumer products, to electricity, healthcare services and infrastructure. It is also driving the need for new jobs for the kingdom’s young people. Riyadh must get Vision 2030 back on track as quickly as possible.

Written by MEED, the Middle East market experts within the GlobalData Group, "Saudi Arabia 2020 - Long-term opportunities in the Middle East’s biggest market" has been updated in April 2020 to consider the impact of coronavirus on the Saudi economy. It provides a comprehensive guide for companies seeking to work in Saudi Arabia. Covering oil & gas, petrochemicals, power, construction, water, manufacturing and transport, the report is a powerful resource for anyone seeking to find opportunities, understand risks and set strategy in Saudi Arabia.


- The report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the region’s biggest projects market at the start of 2020 and examines the immediate impact of Covid-19 on the country’s outlook, as well as an assessment of the long-term opportunities for business, investment and projects in the kingdom.
- The report is of extreme high-value to anyone seeking to identify opportunities, understand risks and set strategy in the Middle East’s biggest projects market.

Reasons to buy

- Detailed assessment of the long term opportunities for business and projects in the Middle East’s biggest market
- Comprehensive review of the impact of Covid-19 on the Saudi market
- Outlook for policy and investment in the kingdom
- Projects opportunities with client and procurement details
- Investment drivers and client spending plans
- Understand risks and set strategy in the Mena oil and gas market
- Complete assessment of the economic outlook for the kingdom
- Update on the Vision 2030 reform agenda
- Detailed analysis of all the major business sector in the kingdom including: oil & gas; power & water; construction, petrochemicals, transport and lots, lots more

Table of Contents
1. The impact of coronavirus on Saudi Arabia
1.1 Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia
1.2 Economic outlook
1.3 Riyadh’s response to Covid-19
1.4 Impact of Covid-19 on government expenditure
1.5 Impact of Covid-19 on Vision 2030
1.6 Impact on project spending
2. Economic transformation
2.1 Vision 2030: Progress Report
2.2 Vision 2030 targets
2.3 National Transformation Programme (NTP)
3. Government
3.1 Domestic politics
3.2 Regional diplomacy and conflict
3.3 International relations
3.4 Saudi Arabia and global oil markets
3.5 Economic and social developments
4. Economy
4.1 GDP
4.2 Inflation
4.3 Oil production
4.4 Government finances
4.5 Trade flows
4.6 Banking and monetary policy
4.7 Stock market
4.8 Foreign direct investment
4.9 Labour market
4.10 The economy in 2018-20
4.11 MEED forecast to 2020
4.12 Saudi Aramco IPO
4.13 The IMF view
4.14 Credit ratings agencies
5. Projects market
5.1 Overview
5.2 Spending drivers
5.3 Outlook
5.4 Leading contractors
5.5 Leading clients
5.6 Megaprojects
6. Oil and Gas
6.1 Overview
6.2 Structure
6.3 Saudi Aramco
6.4 Upstream Oil
6.5 Gas
6.6 Refining
6.7 Projects Market
6.8 Leading Contractors
7. Petrochemicals
7.1 Overview
7.2 Key Companies
7.3 Projects Market
7.4 Leading Contractors
8. Mining and natural resources
8.1 Overview
8.2 Restructuring of the mining sector
8.3 Investment
8.4 Gold and base metals
8.5 Phosphate
8.6 Aluminium and bauxite
8.7 Industrial minerals
8.8 Exploration
8.9 Vision 2030 targets
8.10 Talent and experience
9. Industry
9.1 Overview
9.2 Diversification
9.3 Automotive
9.4 Polysilicon
9.5 Cement
9.6 Steel
9.7 Aluminium
9.8 Fertilisers
9.9 Defence
9.10 Outlook
10. Power
10.1 Overview
10.2 Industry structure
10.3 Privatisation
10.4 Supply and demand trends
10.5 Efficiency drive
10.6 Decommissioning programme
10.7 Fuel and alternative energy
10.8 Transmission and distribution network
10.9 Leading contractors
11. Renewable energy
11.1 Overview
11.2 Renewable capacity and generation
11.3 Renewable energy policy
11.4 Projects
12. Desalination
12.1 Overview
12.2 Market structure
12.3 Supply/demand
12.4 Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC)
12.5 Private developers
12.6 Future private projects
12.7 Decommissioning
12.8 Future projects
12.9 Privatisation
13. Wastewater
13.1 Overview
13.2 Management contracts
13.3 Past and future spending
13.4 Groundwater
13.5 Treated sewage effluent
13.6 Marafiq
14. Construction
14.1 Overview
14.2 Projects market
14.3 Contractors and the government
14.4 Public-private partnership (PPP) projects
14.5 Real estate
14.6 Healthcare
14.7 Education
14.8 Roads
15. Tourism
15.1 Overview
15.2 Vision 2030 and the tourism sector
15.3 Key trends
15.4 Cultural tourism
15.5 Hospitality
15.6 Leisure projects
15.7 Retail projects
16. Rail
16.1 Overview
16.2 Railway masterplan
16.2 Structure of the rail industry
16.3 Opportunities and challenges
16.4 Mainline rail infrastructure
16.5 Metro/light rail transit
16.6 Monorail
17. Aviation
17.1 Airport projects
17.2 Market liberalisation
18. Ports
18.1 Sector drivers
18.2 Major ports
18.3 Projects and investments
18.4 Port-rail links
18.5 Privatisation
18.6 Public-private partnerships
18.7 Vision 2030 targets
19. Doing Business
19.1 Foreign Direct Investment in Saudi Arabia
19.2 Trading with Saudi Arabia
19.3 Doing business with the public sector
19.4 The role of Saudi Aramco IPO and tourism in reforms and privatisation
19.5 Saudi Arabia’s Privatisation Push
19.6 Taxation
19.7 Employment law
19.8 Intellectual property
19.9 Enforcing contracts, resolving disputes, and liquidating a business
19.10 New Competition Law, 2019
19.11 New Franchise Law, 2019

List of Tables
Table 1: Vision 2030 goals under the theme 'A Thriving Economy'
Table 2: Phase 1 of the NTP
Table 3: Spending plans by entity under phase 1 of NTP
Table 4: Council of Ministers
Table 5: Saudi GDP by key economic sector, 2018
Table 6: Government budgets 2018−19 (SRbn)
Table 7: Biggest contracts awarded in 2019
Table 8: Largest projects due for award in 2020
Table 9: Saudi Arabia key facts and figures, 2018
Table 10: Saudi Arabia,oil and gas projects under execution by Saudi Aramco, 2020-2025
Table 11: Saudi Arabia crude oil exports by region, 2018 (%)
Table 12: Saudi Arabia LTA offshore contracts signed (2019)
Table 13: Fuel price reforms, January 2018
Table 14: Aramco domestic refining joint ventures
Table 15: Aramco overseas refining joint ventures
Table 16: Saudi Arabia major refinery projects
Table 17: Top oil and gas projects in pre-execution phases (as of January 2020)
Table 18: Selected petrochemicals projects
Table 19: Top petrochemical projects planned (as of January 2020)
Table 20: Maaden production output in 2016-2017
Table 21: Maaden production output in Q1-Q3 2019
Table 22: Key Saudi mining companies
Table 23: Maaden gold production (ounces), 2016−2018
Table 24: Mining projects planned and underway*
Table 25: Selected pre-execution industrial projects in Saudi Arabia, January 2020
Table 26: Saudi Arabia power sector key facts, 2018
Table 27: SEC Privatisation - Functions of new unbundled companies
Table 28: Major active thermal power generation plants in Saudi Arabia
Table 29: Private power projects, planned and underway, January 2020
Table 30: Selected T&D contract awards, 2018-2019
Table 31: Technical bidders for the Saudi Arabia-Egypt Interconnection
Table 32: Transmission & distribution infrastructure, 2013−2018
Table 33: Number of transmission substations, 2013-2018
Table 34: Saudi Arabia upcoming power transmission projects by value ($m)*
Table 35: Saudi Arabia leading contractors by value, 2019
Table 36: Saudi Arabia, Repdo renewables projects - Round 2, 2020
Table 37: Saudi Arabia renewable power sector key facts, 2018
Table 38: Repdo renewable energy projects by capacity (MW) and value ($m), 2020*
Table 39: Repdo third round projects
Table 40: List of bidders with prices for the 300MW PV solar project at Sakaka
Table 41: List of bidders with price for the 400MW wind scheme at Dumat al-Jandal
Table 42: Saudi Arabia, renewable energy projects ($m) under execution, 2020*
Table 43: Saudi Arabia, upcoming renewable energy projects ($m), 2020*
Table 44: Saudi Arabia, total water demand (million cm/d per year)
Table 45: Saudi Arabia, new SWPC desalination projects
Table 46: Major desalination plants operated by SWCC and other organisations, 2019
Table 47: Major SWCC desalination plants under construction
Table 48: Existing IWPPs
Table 49: Future projects
Table 50: Planned SWCC transmission pipelines
Table 51: Saudi Arabia, desalination projects in pre-execution stage ($m), January 2020
Table 52: Cities under NWC's mandate
Table 53: Planned O&M clusters
Table 54: Existing and planned large-scale STPs, 2017
Table 55: Planned PPP sewage treatment plants
Table 56: Planned potable water field projects
Table 57: NWC estimated capital spending programme, 2013−17
Table 58: TSE contracts*
Table 59: TSE MoUs

List of Figures
Figure 1: Saudi GDP 2009−19
Figure 2: Saudi GDP contribution by sector at current prices, 2018 (% of total)
Figure 3: Saudi inflation, 2008−2019 (%)
Figure 4: Saudi crude oil output, 2005−19 (million b/d)
Figure 5: Government finances , 2009−19
Figure 6: Government non-oil revenue, 2001−18 (% of total revenue)
Figure 7: Sama assets, 2009−19 (SRm)
Figure 8: Saudi commercial banks’ holdings of government bonds 2009−19 (SRm)
Figure 9: Saudi government gross debt , 2009−19
Figure 10: Saudi trade flows 2009−18 (SRm)
Figure 11: Commercial bank deposits and assets, 2008−18 (SRm)
Figure 12: Three-month Saudi interbank offered rate vs US LIBOR, 2010−19 (%)
Figure 13: Tadawul performance, 2009−19
Figure 14: Foreign direct investment, net inflows 2006-Q3 2018 ($m)
Figure 15: Saudis in public and private sector jobs, 2010−18
Figure 16: Average price of Opec oil basket, 2008−19 ($ / barrel)
Figure 17: Non-Opec oil production, 2008−19 (million b/d)
Figure 18: Saudi oil price and production forecast, 2017−22
Figure 19: Saudi GDP forecast, 2017−22
Figure 20: Saudi government revenue projections, 2017−22 (SR bn)
Figure 21: Saudi government revenue and budget balance projections, 2017−21
Figure 22: Saudi imports, exports and current account, 2017−22
Figure 23: Total value of contract awards, 2010−19 ($m)
Figure 24: Contract awards by sector, 2010−19 ($m)
Figure 25: Contract awards by sector, 2010−19
Figure 26: Contract awards by sector, 2017−19 ($m)
Figure 27: Projects market by status
Figure 28: Projects market by sector* ($m)
Figure 29: Future transport projects by subsector* ($m)
Figure 30: Top contractors by the value of contracts under execution ($bn)
Figure 31: Top client by the value of contracts under execution ($bn)
Figure 32: Saudi recoverable crude oil reserves, 2011-2018 (billion barrels)
Figure 33: Saudi recoverable gas reserves, 2011-2018 (tcf)
Figure 34: Location of the neutral zone
Figure 35: Saudi Arabia crude oil exports by region, 2018 (%)
Figure 36: Saudi oil and gas fields
Figure 37: Saudi crude oil production, 2011-2018 (million b/d)
Figure 38: Saudi Arabia annual power consumption and projected demand (GWh), 2010-2030
Figure 39: Saudi Aramco raw gas supply to gas plants, 2011-2017 (bcf/d)
Figure 40: Saudi Arabia oil consumption, 2011-18 (thousand barrels a day
Figure 41: Oil and gas contract awards by sector, 2009-2019 (%)
Figure 42: Planned oil and gas projects (%)
Figure 43: Saudi Arabia’s top oil and gas contractors, 2019
Figure 44: Top petrochemical producers in Saudi Arabia
Figure 45: Sabic subsidiaries
Figure 46: Petrochemical contract awards by sector, 2009-2019 (%)
Figure 47: Planned petrochemical projects ($m)
Figure 48: Saudi Arabia’s top petrochemicals sector contractors, 2019
Figure 49: Main geological structures
Figure 50: Maaden production output in 2018
Figure 51: Maaden assets
Figure 52: Maaden assets, 2011-2018 (SRbn)
Figure 53: Maaden sales, 2011-2018 (SRm)
Figure 54: Maaden sales by commodity (SRbn), 2016-2018
Figure 55: Railways supporting Ras Al-Khair minerals city
Figure 56: Maaden workforce, 2009-2018
Figure 57: Challenges faced by Saudi Arabia Industries (%), 2018
Figure 58: Cement sales YTD 2018-2019 (thousand tonnes)
Figure 59: Saudi clinker production and inventory, October 2018 and October 2019 (thousand tonnes)
Figure 60: Saudi Arabia, steel production and usage (thousand tonnes), 2008-2018
Figure 61: Institutional structure of decision-making in the Saudi Arabia energy sector
Figure 62: Leading power developers by equity capacity, August 2018 (MW)

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