Saudi king launches mega investment projects worth $81 billion

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Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz launched on Thursday a number of development projects worth SR327 billion ($81 billion) for Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY), the Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Arabian Basic Industries and other private companies in the Jubail and Yanbu industrial cities.

Jubail is an industrial city in the kingdom’s Eastern Province. It is the headquarters of major Saudi oil company Aramco and is considered the largest industrial city in the Middle East.

Yanbu is major Red Sea Port in the kingdom’s western al-Madinah province.

The Saudi government established RCJY on Sept. 21, 1975 and shortly afterwards it decided to open and develop Jubail Industrial City, which is seen as the largest civil engineering project in the world.

The city accounts for more than 7 percent of the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), with an estimated population of 100,000.

The mass investment project is part of the kingdom’s strategy to encourage private investments needed to solve unemployment problems.

The Kingdom’s unemployment rate is estimated at about 12 percent, according to a recent government poll conducted by the Central Department of Statistics and Information.

The public sector has been struggling to provide employment for a booming population and has unveiled various programs to encourage Saudi nationals to work in the private sector.

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