Author: 
FAISAL TAHIR KHAN
Publication Date: 
Sat, 2011-09-24 01:32

Let’s visualize the following scenario on Sept. 23, 2025:
“Saudi Arabia is one of the fifth most competitive economies in the world. Saudi Arabia’s GDP has crossed $1.5 trillion and the per capita income has reached $70,000. King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) is ranked among the top 20 universities in the world for three consecutive years. Twenty Saudi nationals have received Nobel awards. Saudi Arabia is exporting 1.5 million cars every year. Saudi Arabia’s export revenue from solar energy has touched $500 billion. Fifty Saudi companies have made it to the Fortune 500 companies. The Kingdom’s education and health systems are followed by many nations as role models.”
Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and many other nations saw similar dreams almost 50 years ago and they made it through sheer determination and hard work.
They showed the world that how a country with limited natural resources, scarce land and many natural disasters could still be one of the biggest industrial nations in the world.
The biggest creations of the Creator are human beings and there is an urgent need to explore the true potential of that resource more importantly than the natural resource beneath us.
All those nations who have mastered the art of developing their human resource into competitive knowledge workers — who add positive value to their economies and to global economies — will have an edge on those who do not offer such expertise.
Every economic revolution requires a different set of skills and those trying to use their obsolete thoughts in a new economic paradigm may become redundant.
The skills required in stone ages may not be relevant today. The world is entering a new era of innovation that is based on creative thinking as the knowledge revolution gathers pace.
Saudi Arabia needs to ensure that it is grooming people who could pursue lucrative careers and would play a pioneering role in the modern world.
Saudi Arabia also has a unique geographical location, favorable demographics and an asset base that can be converted into sustainable economic cycles and business models.
It also wields a lot of respect amongst OIC and G20 member states.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s great vision for the nation is demonstrated in his commitment to develop both hard and soft infrastructure by building great universities. There are also moves to initiate dialogues to harness harmony, tolerance and understanding among nations. This is the need of the hour and implementing the right policies can make Saudi Arabia a truly competitive nation in years to come.
It is crucial for people from all walks of life in the Kingdom to play their role in achieving this vision that can take Saudi Arabia into this new paradigm of innovation and self-sustainable economic model based on human capital.
It is also necessary that young Saudi students, professionals, entrepreneurs should increase their ties with the outer world and learn the best practices in science, management, technology and in other cutting edge industries as the real challenge is to bridge the know-how gap. They can gain more knowledge by interacting with those who have already mastered those skills and industries.
From paper pin to an airplane, from high skyscrapers to modern cities it was just an idea once in someone’s mind.
In reality, everything we see around us is just a manifestation of a vision once seen by someone.
It is necessary that all stake holders of a community see a vision for themselves, their family and their nation and above all for the world at large.
So, let’s leave a better Saudi Arabia and a better world for our coming generations to come.

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