In April 2016, the Saudi Cabinet, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, approved the country’s Vision 2030, an economic roadmap which will end the Kingdom’s dependence on oil revenue.
The historic vision was developed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which is chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It includes a number of goals and reform strategies for the Kingdom’s long-term economic success, including reductions in subsidies, the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, opening Saudi Aramco to private investment through a partial IPO, and reforms to several industries including tourism and defence.
“We are determined to reinforce and diversify the capabilities of our economy, turning our key strengths into enabling tools for a fully diversified future,” said Prince Mohammed in the the report. “We are determined to build a thriving country in which all citizens can fulfill their dreams, hopes and ambitions.”
The vision is built around three primary themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation.
In order to achieve a vibrant society, Saudi Arabia will focus on its people and the Islamic faith. This will happen through a series of commitments, including:
• Increasing the number of Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million annually.
• Establishing the largest Islamic museum in the world.
• Doubling the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO.
• Promoting the growth of cultural and entertainment opportunities within the Kingdom.
• Encouraging healthy lifestyles so that the number of citizens who exercise once a week increases from 13 to 40 percent.
• Developing Saudi cities so that three are recognized in the 100 top-ranked cities in the world.
In order to achieve a thriving economy, Saudi Arabia will diversify its economy and create dynamic job opportunities for its citizens. This will happen through commitments to education, entrepreneurship and innovation, including:
• Diversifying the Kingdom’s economy through the ongoing privatization of state-owned assets, including establishing a sovereign wealth fund that will be financed through the partial IPO of Saudi Aramco.
• Unlocking underdeveloped industries such as manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism. This includes localizing more than 50 percent of Saudi military spending by 2030 to decrease the dependence on foreign military contracts.
• Modernising the curriculum and standards of Saudi educational institutions from childhood to higher learning. By 2030, Saudi Arabia will have at least five universities among the top 200 universities in the world.
• Refocusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by encouraging financial assistance. Increasing the contribution of SMEs to GDP from 20 to 35 percent by 2030.
In order to be an ambitious nation, Saudi Arabia will focus on accountability, transparency and effectiveness in its governing strategy. Sustainable success can only be achieved with solid foundations. In order to realize this potential, the Kingdom will:
• Establish zero tolerance for all levels of corruption.
• Boost transparency by expanding online services and improving governance standards.
• Establish the King Salman Program for Human Capital Development in order to train more than 500,000 government employees in best practices.
• Bolster the non-profit sector through increased efficiency and impact.
For the latest updates on the implementation of the Vision 2030 economic roadmap, read the latest update here.
The Vision 2030 plan is the first step towards achieving Saudi Arabia’s economic aspirations and transforming the lives of citizens. For more details on Vision 2030, please visit the official site here.