Saudi wealth fund PIF launches Badael to make tobacco-free products

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PIF has launched a new company Badeal

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has launched a new company, Badael, to develop, manufacture and distribute tobacco-free and less harmful products to reduce the prevalence of smoking and localise manufacturing in the country.

Badael will make tobacco-free nicotine delivery products available across Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023, to expand its reach to regional and international markets in the longer term. The initiative is aimed at addressing the negative impact that smoking has on the well-being of Saudi Arabia’s population.

The new firm aims to provide new economic opportunities and create jobs, working in partnership with the local private sector and world-class global partners. Its products are expected to help nearly one million people switch from smoking by 2032, representing approximately 25 per cent of all smokers in the kingdom.

Badael seeks to deliver on PIF’s localisation mandate by supporting domestic manufacturing, sourcing raw materials, knowledge transfer and development of the intellectual property. PIF said the initiative is expected to deliver direct annual savings of more than SAR6bn on healthcare expenditure by 2032.

“Badael’s vision is to curb smoking and deliver on PIF’s strategy to improve the quality of life for all, and is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader efforts to diversify the economy, localise manufacturing and drive economic transformation as well as job creation,” PIF said in a statement.

The launch of a tobacco-free products company in Saudi Arabia is part of the government’s broader strategies to enhance the quality of life for its citizens as part of Saudi Vision 2030. It comes ahead of the World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Badeal joins PIF’s growing portfolio

Meanwhile, PIF has established 77 companies and created more than half a million direct and indirect jobs since 2017.

The sovereign wealth fund unveiled a strategy in January 2021 to more than double its assets under management to more than SAR4tn by 2025.

Read: Saudi Arabia unveils Riyadh Air, the country’s new national carrier