(Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co DOW.N said it became the first foreign company to receive a trading license from Saudi Arabia as the kingdom plans to diversify its economy and free its dependence on oil exports amid a slump in global oil prices.
Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman held a full day of meetings with U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, part of a visit aimed at restoring frayed ties with Washington and promoting his plan to wean the kingdom away from oil revenue.
The trading license will give full ownership in the country’s trading sector, the No. 1 U.S. chemical maker by sales said on Thursday.
The world’s top oil exporter announced in April a reform plan, a package of economic and social policies designed to raise non-oil revenue to 600 billion riyals ($160.04 billion) by 2020 and 1 trillion riyals by 2030 from 163.5 billion riyals last year.
A plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 made the Vision 2030 reform, which relies on an expanding private sector, selling shares in the Saudi state-owned oil company and reducing government subsidies, urgent in the kingdom.
Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta