Saudi Arabia has increasingly directed its wealth into a variety of global assets, from technology to sports. The country’s $700 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF) has recently made significant investments, including in U.S. golf through the LIV Golf organization and the PGA Tour. Other notable investments include stakes in Lucid Motors, a California-based electric vehicle maker; Uber, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts.
The World’s Most Profitable Company
Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, is valued at over $2 trillion. With net profits exceeding $159 billion last year, it’s listed among the world’s largest businesses. Despite the ongoing global push towards sustainable energy, Saudi Arabia continues to play a crucial role in the world’s oil supply. With low production costs and the ability to control output rates, Saudi Arabia maintains significant influence in the global energy market.
Human Rights Concerns
Controversy has surrounded Saudi Arabia due to various incidents, most notably the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. These events have raised questions about the ethics of doing business with the nation. However, many argue that economic and political realities make engagement with the country necessary.
Saudi Vision 2030
Saudi Arabia plans to diversify its investments, aiming to reduce its economic reliance on oil. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has initiated the Vision 2030 strategy, pushing for diversified portfolios. The country plans to invest approximately $3.2 trillion by 2030. This vision also includes plans to make the nation carbon-neutral by 2060, leading to the development of several solar and wind projects.
Western Interests and Responses
The potential for significant and swift economic deals has attracted numerous global companies. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, recently appointed Amin Nasser, CEO of Aramco, to their board. Such collaborations signify the growing integration of Saudi businesses with Western counterparts. U.S. President Joe Biden‘s visit to Riyadh in 2022 underscores the importance of Saudi-U.S. relations, especially concerning oil supply and prices.
Saudi Arabia continues to forge partnerships and investments around the world. The country’s strategic decisions and the West’s response to them will likely shape global economic dynamics in the coming decade.