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Saudi cabinet approves economic diversification plan

Saudi Arabia's minister of energy Khalid A Al-Falih attends the 169th meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at OPEC headquarters in Vienna, on June 2, 2016The Saudi cabinet has approved a major plan to diversify the national economy away from oil with an aim to generate 450,000 jobs in non-government sectors by 2020, officials said Tuesday. The National Transformation Programme (NTP) 2020 also aims to cut public expenditures by 40 percent over the next five years and boost the contribution of the private sector, officials said. NTP is one of several programmes designed to achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030, an 84-page document released in April by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 30, who is leading the reform charge.

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