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More than only 26 Billion Dollars! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In the world of management, one either leads or is lead. That is the everlasting truth for everyday, every year, every individual and every country. It is for this reason that that the announcement concerning the establishing of a new industrial and commercial city on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia represents a positive example of leadership.

This project will be grand in all aspects for the country””s future. More important than the huge financing of the projects is the initiative of founding such a project and the political determination in its implementation. Countries are evaluated in terms of the ambitions of their leaders and their increasing aspirations rather than their capacity to survive and simply continue with their daily routines. Luckily, our aspirations are in the correct place far from seeking to occupy lands or take part in confrontations. Our aspirations are based upon civilization rather than military expansion or pretentious rivalries.

It is for this reason that we support completely the idea of constructing an industrial city the size of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia that represents a continuance of other major industrial complexes such as Jubail and other projects undertaken by the Saudi Basic Industry Corporation (SABIC) which is a major global player in the field of economics. When the projects of Yanbu and Jubail were announced over two decades ago, the neighboring countries were indifferent and would spend their money instead on military development and political ambitions that resulted only in the destruction of those countries, namely, Iran and Iraq. If we look at the fundamental source of a country such as Saudi Arabia that is oil, we can conclude that it is the result of an ambitious investment that has made production possible and does not simply represent gigantic oil reserves.

Therefore, we are happy to see leaders of today setting the basis for tomorrow. We have to salute those in the Arab world who work on future projects that may serve generations to come in the whole region rather than saluting those who spread empty political propaganda that only harms the citizens of the region.

Those who state that our region is full of resources, aspiring characters and big dreams are correct but what we lack are leaders who do not stand by these dreams or aspirations. Our countries are rich in resources and the citizens are of an ambitious nature, however, the region is plagued by leaderships that lack vision and are egoistic in their projects. We lack leaderships that think beyond today to what may serve the future generations.

This is what makes the industrial complex Yanbu an example for future ambition as many have recently stated. Investments for the new project are estimated at $26 billion US dollars, almost half of the Saudi government””s budget. The project has been financed by various sources major corporations, government officials and the public, who will also be offered the opportunity to contribute.

The financing of such a project was never really a concern as much as the idea and the implementation of this project. In terms of finance, other schemes of less significance involved in real estate or the stock market or military ventures have cost a similar amount.

The main conclusion is that the importance of leadership to guide the country and search for ways to develop the present situation with future projects would place that country on a path to industrial and service success enabling it to compete in international markets.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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