The recent interview of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by Abdullah Al-Mudaifer was special in all its aspects, as it coincided with the fifth anniversary of the launch of Vision 2030 and its guest was the sponsor of this vision.
It gave viewers an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the country’s largest national project, one that is set to benefit people throughout the Kingdom.
Although the vision’s goals in their general form may seem economical, they required adjustments to the government’s structure, the establishment of new councils, and the selection of people in leadership positions according to criteria based on efficiency, ability and interest and more.
The crown prince focused on the third criterion, giving it special attention. He explained that the need for change came because the previous traditional manner that heads of government had followed was routine and based on clearing transactions and procedures without a strategic plan, something which he rejected.
The Kingdom in the pre-vision stage invested only 10 percent of the opportunities. In the interview, the crown prince used the example of the housing market.
In 2011, a budget of SR250 billion ($66.66 billion) was allocated to address the problem of housing for citizens, but the ministry spent only SR2 billion in four years. The ministry failed to deliver on its projects and was not able to get projects off the ground.
The crown prince said that it was due to the state’s weak position at that time and ministries working in isolation.
Vision 2030 created channels for coordination between the bodies concerned with housing, specifically the municipalities, the Ministry of Finance, the central bank and the private sector. It worked to enact legislation that would serve the people and, within five years, home ownership was raised to 62 percent in record time.
The successes of Vision 2030 are many, and many goals that were set have been achieved ahead of schedule. Strategic thinking from the crown prince — to provide future opportunities by focusing on changing the present — covers areas such as tackling unemployment, non-oil revenues, tourism, foreign investment, technological advancement and transformation.
Saudi Arabia has always been friendly with its neighbors and it will not hesitate to continue to pursue good relations with regional member states and strategic allies in a way that serves its interests and the security of its borders.
Dr. Bader bin Saud
On the regional front, Saudi Arabia has always been friendly with its neighbors and it will not hesitate to continue to pursue good relations with regional member states and strategic allies in a way that serves its interests and the security of its borders.
If the Roman Empire started from Rome, whose influence is not comparable to its size, and without military solutions most of the time, and the US managed to control the new world through its culture and lifestyle, then the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is able to set its exceptional model for leading the post-coronavirus world and has all the capabilities it needs.
• Dr. Bader bin Saud is a weekly columnist for Al Riyadh and Okaz newspapers.