In October 2015, The Saudi Council for Economic and Development Affairs unveiled an austerity plan in response to a drop in the price of oil to around US $26, which threw the country into an unexpected deficit of about $100 billion. Later on, an austerity plan evolved into the National Transformation Plan (NTP) 2020. The NTP focused on the key drivers for economic growth. Although only an outline of the NTP was released at the time, we speculate on what will be the best implementation policy. Knowing that the government is taking a developmental approach that is inclusive, transparent and accountable to all stakeholders in society, we opted to address this question as a multi criteria decision problem formulated in an Analytic Network Process (ANP) model. The ANP is a sound methodology for structuring the problem to find which policy to focus on to make the transformation as effective as possible, taking into account social and political factors in addition to economic ones. The ANP model showed that to make the transformation effective through blending socio-economic and political factors, policy-makers must give priority to management reform over privatization and fiscal reform policies.
Analytic Network Process, economic transformation, strategic planning, Saudi Arabia
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