Saudi Vision 2030 set to shake up the entire Arab region

Published:  6 May at 6 PM
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An extenstive and innovative raft of changes to take place between now and 2030 was announced earlier this week by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan is intended to lay the foundations for far-reaching changes based on a liberal, social and economic approach, the rewarding of excellence and innovation and the involvement and participation of the Kingdom’s citizens. Surprised observers believe it’s guaranteed to shake up the entire Arab world.

A national project for reform and development is at its heart, aimed at eventually reducing the region’s reliance on oil revenues. Gradual change undertaken in the past will be replaced by immediate action along the lines proposed by the plan.

The pact dumps previous blind compliance with the state, replacing it with participation involving taking initiative, embracing the technological revolution and using technology in education, medicine, agriculture and employment. It’s bold, visionary and will have massive regional implications in the political, social and economic spheres.

The Saudi government is expecting resistance from traditionalists, conservative thinkers and those milking the present entitlement culture. However, young people in the Kingdom are expected to welcome the changes as they will give economic and social guarantees for their futures.

According to Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AL Nayhan of Abu Dhabi, the plan is an ambitious programme and a giant step forward for the region as a whole. He is keen on integration with Saudi Arabia as he believes working together will lessen the risk of unrest and terrorism in the region.

Integrating with Arab states such as the Sudan as regards agricultural technology, food security and natural resources would benefit Saudi Arabia due to Sudan’s fertile farmlands and abundance of water. Expanding alliances across the region is another intention of the plan, expected to benefit expat workers as well as nationals.

For the first time ever, part of the national wealth will be privatised through the stock market, including 5 per cent of Aramco shares worth around $2 trillion. The decision is expected to increase the oil company’s transparency and the giant company will be monitored both by Saudi banks and their international equivalents.
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