Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

World Bank: Saudi 2030 Vision to Contribute to Sustainability of Economic Development of the Kingdom and the Region - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London-Economic analysts around the world have agreed unanimously on the importance of reform program that was revealed by 2030 vision in order to prepare the Saudi economy for the post-oil era and diversify it to guarantee stability, maintain high growth rates and create job opportunities for the citizens.

Nadir Abdullatif Mohammed, the Country Director of the GCC Countries in the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank, praised these reforms and described the vision as an ambitious transforming program that could contribute to the sustainability of the economic development process not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in the region.

In his statements for Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday, Mohammed added that the main target behind applying this reform program is to limit dependence on oil revenues.

He pointed out that the 2030 vision has defined clear objectives to diversify economy, create job opportunities, fight economic corruption and boost the government’s importance in several sectors, including oil and corporate governance.

Regarding the hardships the government would face while applying these reforms, Mohammed said that the Saudi government would issue economic details of the 2030 vision in six weeks.

He added that these details are expected to tackle implementation mechanisms and means of overcoming obstacles that might face these reforms.

Mohammed noted that “logically, applying such an ambitious reform program will not be an easy task, yet the wise leadership will help overcome all the obstacles.”

On the other hand, other economic analysts around the world have shared the World Bank’s optimism towards this vision by welcoming it and describing it as “courageous”.

The “Financial Times” and “Telegraph” described Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as an “ambitious young prince in his thirties”.

Analysts also commented on Saudi Arabia’s plan to create the world’s largest sovereign investment fund that will make the country one of the major players in international financial markets.

Notably, no information has been released regarding this fund or its investment strategies.

However, what is certain is that the two thousand billion dollars fund will be the largest in the world beating the €800 billion Norwegian Fund or other Gulf and Asian countries’ funds.

For his part, Saxo Bank Analyst Christopher Dembik said, “It is clear that this will change the economic situation as this fund is seeking to be like the Qatari and Norwegian sovereign funds that are working very well.”

Moreover, the drop in oil prices in the past few months has revealed the Kingdom’s dependence on oil and its need to prepare for its future.

The economist expert at Aurel BGC Jean-Louis Mourier said back then that the best solution is to create a fund to finance economic diversification resources, which will affect global markets.

He noted that Saudi Arabia will probably use funds from already-existing oil revenues, thus limiting new investments.

In addition, the fund ranked second behind Norway as the largest in the world at $773 billion and ahead of Saudi Arabia’s $757 billion fund in third position, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.