Oil in Saudi Arabia Reza/Getty Images

Jalur Reformasi di Arab Saudi

BEIRUT – Hampir dua tahun semenjak harga minyak mulai merosot tajam, produsen-produsen terbesar di dunia menghadapi prospek adanya penyesuaian besar-besaran yang akan menghasilkan konsekuensi ekonomi, sosial, dan politik yang besar. Meskipun penyesuaian ini tentu akan sangat sulit dan menantang – terutama bagi negara-negara berpendapatan menengah seperti Arab Saudi yang jumlah penerimaan negara/dana abadi yang dimiliki jauh lebih sedikit dibandingkan Uni Emirat Arab – peristiwa ini dapat memberi peluang besar untuk merumuskan cara-cara yang lebih produktif untuk mengatur warganya.

Terkesan bahwa Arab Saudi sudah merangkul tantangan ini. Pekan ini, pemerintah Arab Saudi mengumumkan rencana Visi 2030 untuk menjamin pertumbuhan jangka panjang yang berkelanjutan. Rencana ini disambut baik tapi juga dikritisi karena ambisi besarnya, ditunjukkan dengan sasaran menjadikan Kerajaan Arab Saudi masuk sebagai peringkat 15 besar negara-negara berpendapatan tertinggi di dunia dalam 20 tahun ke depan – perekonomian yang ditandai dengan tenaga kerja terampil, pasar terbuka, dan tata kelola pemerintahan yang baik. Salah satu metode andalan yang menjadi tumpuan Arab Saudi untuk mewujudkannya adalah diversifikasi portolio aset negara, menjual saham perusahaan minyak terbesar yaitu Aramco untuk memperoleh dana abadi atau sovereign-wealth fund.

Namun Visi 2030 gagal menjawab satu isu penting: rendahnya partisipasi tenaga kerja. Hanya 41% dari populasi angkatan kerja yang saat ini bekerja, dibandingkan rata-rata negara OECD yang mencapai 60%. Jumlah angkatan kerja yang sudah terserap saat ini bekerja di lembaga-lembaga publik yang umumnya kelebihan staf. Ini adalah bentuk inefisiensi terbesar dalam perekonomian Arab Saudi dan pemecahannya akan lebih sulit dicapai dibandingkan penyelesaian masalah lain.

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