The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly revealed plans to invest SAR8bn ($2.1bn) to strengthen its space programme by 2030.

The investment is part of the county’s economic diversification plan, Reuters reported. It aims to draw interest from foreign companies and generate several employment opportunities for the citizens.

Later this year, the Saudi Space Commission (SSC) is likely to unveil a plan for the government. It is currently in its finalising stage.

The commission will initially receive SAR2bn ($33m) under this plan.

Established in late 2018, the SSC is designed to encourage space-related research and industrial activities.

Saudi Monarch King Salman son Prince Sultan was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In the time where we live now, space is becoming a fundamental sector of the global economy, touching every aspect of our lives on Earth.

“Space business and space economy are expected to grow into the trillions of riyals as we go forward.

“We believe there are a lot of opportunities that exist in the space sector and we, in Saudi Arabia, intend to tap these opportunities at all levels.”

In July, the Saudi Space Authority and the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity signed an integration agreement to develop human capital in the field of the space sector.

In August, Arabsat contracted aerospace and defence company Airbus to build a new generation telecommunications satellite.