Saudi Arabia has launched a drive to end monopoly practices in its massive construction industry to promote fair completion and upgrade the sector, a local newspaper reported on Friday. 

The government has tasked the “General Authority for Competition” to conduct a study to identify malpractices  in the Gulf Kingdom’s construction sector, the largest in the Middle East, the Arabic language daily Almadina said. 

The study is meant to “pinpoint the causes of weak competition” in the contracting sector in the world’s largest oil exporter, the paper said. 

“It is also intended to highlight monopoly practices and privileges enjoyed by some companies, improve transparency and to come out with solution to guarantee fair completion in order to regulate the market and upgrade the sector….the ultimate aim of the study is to totally eliminate monopoly practices in the construction sector.” 

According to the report, the Authority believes the study is vital at a time when the contracting sector in the largest Arab economy is growing fast thanks to a sharp increase in projects as part of the country’s Vision 2030. 

It noted that Saudi Arabia, which controls the world’s second largest extractable oil deposits, is either executing or completing at least 5,000 projects worth more than $1.6 trillion after the end of counter-Coronavirus curbs. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)