Beyond Oil: Saudi Arabia is a Treasure Trove of Natural Resources

saudi vision 2030

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan lays out the intention to the Kingdom to unlock its economic potential and treasure trove of natural resources. While the decision to list Saudi Aramco has been subject to intense worldwide speculation, the impact of Saudi Arabia’s reforms go well beyond the oil sector.

“The money that will come in is not money they’ll put in the bank at 2 percent interest,” said Tom McNulty, a director at Navigant Consultant specializing in energy. “It’s for turning one industry into 10 or 12 industries.”

The economic diversification underway is, in short, massive. Built into Vision 2030 is the country’s effort to open its doors wide for foreign investment.

Diversification Toward Natural Resources, Renewable Energy and More

There are a myriad of opportunities available to Saudi Arabia as it undergoes its historic transformation.

In the mining sector, Saudi Arabia will work to capitalize on the treasure trove of other natural resources.

Head of Equity Research at Arqaam Capital Jaap Meijer said of Saudi Arabia, “It has promising sites of minerals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, platinum and other strategic materials.”

Recently, Alcan Primary Metal Group and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company signed a $7 billion joint venture agreement to mine bauxite reserves in northern Saudi Arabia. It is aiming to produce more than 720,000 tons of aluminum per year under this new partnership.

Renewable energy is also a focus for Saudi leadership. The government plans to maximize solar and wind power in the country by generating 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

Capital markets offer another opportunity for economic growth. The Saudi Stock Exchange is implementing plans to open up the markets – at present, all of the 176 listed names are Saudi companies. Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, vice chairman of the Capital Market Authority, has set foreign companies listing on the market in his sights.

Read the full story on CNBC.