Saudi Arabia: The Non-Oil Revenue Journey
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 has a clear goal of putting the non-oil sector at the centre of the country's economic development. The National Transformation Program and the Fiscal Balance Program, for example, have initiatives and targets to diversify total government revenues as part of the Vision 2030 objectives.
Plans to diversify and raise non-oil revenue's contribution to the economy have been part of development plans since the 1970s; however, it was not until the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 in 2016 that they began to gain momentum.
In this report, we evaluate Saudi non-oil revenue performance through this journey, including its highs and lows, successes, and failures. We highlight the experiences of two other oil-rich countries -- Norway and Venezuela-- which offer policy insights and lessons learned. Norway is frequently touted as an example of how to manage natural resources such as oil and gas to avoid the resource curse, as well as with regards to revenue source diversification. On the other hand, Venezuela’s (holding most of the world's oil reserves) approach to managing oil resources, economic diversification and development serves as a cautionary tale.