Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed takes Vision 2030 to Silicon Valley

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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman moves among Saudi students in Washington on Saturday. (SPA)
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds an open meeting with distinguished Saudi students in Washington on Saturday. (SPA)
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A Saudi student takes a selfie with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during his meeting with Saudi students in Washington on Saturday. (SPA)
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman talks to a Saudi student in Washington on Saturday. (SPA)
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman addresses Saudi students in Washington on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 19 June 2016

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed takes Vision 2030 to Silicon Valley

JEDDAH: Two weeks ago, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman approved one of the main pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 — the National Transformation Program 2020.

A number of ministers outlined initiatives, plans and goals enshrined in the vision aimed at overhauling the Saudi economy.
The visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the United States began with a series of meetings with the political leadership, including US President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and influential Democratic and Republican senators.
The visit gained a lot of importance despite the approaching departure of the current administration. Looking at the deputy crown prince’s comprehensive agenda and detailed preparations for meetings with various personalities, the visit has a strategic dimension.
The deputy crown prince is the chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. And the focus of his next meetings will be on business leaders of America, more specifically the Silicon Valley chiefs.
San Francisco, California, will be one of the important stops of the visit since Silicon Valley is the center of America’s technological prowess. Silicon Valley is one of the most important investment sectors in the United States; top tech companies are headquartered there. These companies contribute to a third of investment returns on new projects in the US. It is an investment magnet for joint projects that contribute high returns to the US economy. It has more than 120 companies with an estimated value of $2.8 trillion. More than 50 companies are launched every month in the Silicon Valley.
The deputy crown prince’s meetings with major companies will be an important feature of his visit to the United States. He is expected to pitch the highlights of Vision 2030 for the benefit of the tech companies. The vision focuses on strengthening the Saudi economy and guarantees continued financial leadership and entrepreneurship, thanks to its position and effective partnership in the G-20, in addition to its agreements with a number of advanced countries in many fields.
Economist Hamoud Al-Shadawi said NTP2020 would attract direct foreign investment and help diversify Saudi economy. He said that Vision 2030 creates big reason for US investors to enter Saudi Arabia in a big way, especially since Saudi Arabia is a key link between East and West, and a major port for international trade.
Al-Shadawi said economic interests in emerging companies is a fertile field that eliminates unemployment by more than half, especially with the availability of a strong infrastructure, as in the model of Silicon Valley.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is capable of establishing a medical industry that encourages investment in human resources and achieves Vision 2030 goals. This industry will encourage mutual investment in nationalizing technology and embracing innovation to develop external industries and investments. He added that capital flows to quality capital companies has only a slight risk rate, in comparison to the stock market.
The strategic partnership program has resulted in the signing of a number of agreements with gigantic US companies, such as GE. This step reflects the trust of major investors in the strategy that will enhance the stability of the economic future of the country.
The Council of Ministers has already approved the rules and regulations of foreign investment in the Kingdom. Attracting regional and global retail merchants will become easy with relaxed customs restrictions related to property and foreign investments.


KSRelief dispatches help for Lebanese medical teams treating explosion victims 

Updated 8 min 32 sec ago

KSRelief dispatches help for Lebanese medical teams treating explosion victims 

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has assisted Lebanese medical teams treating victims of the Beirut explosion on Tuesday.

Emergency teams from the Souboul Al Salam Relief Team, which is funded by KSRelief, went from north of Lebanon to Beirut to support medical teams on the ground. 

Another team from Al-Amal Medical Center, also funded by KSRelief, provided emergency health care services and started a blood donation campaign to meet the demand of Beirut hospitals.

The prime minister of Lebanon, which is already struggling with an economic crisis and battling COVID-19, has made a desperate plea for help following Tuesday’s deadly explosions.
Kuwait said it has delivered medical aid and other essentials by a military plane on Wednesday morning.
The World Health Organization and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies were sending 40 tonnes of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment to Beirut on a flight paid for by Dubai-based International Humanitarian City, a hub for humanitarian emergency preparedness and response, a WHO representative said.
"We are offering medical trauma kits and surgical kits containing things such as syringes, bandages and surgical gowns," said Nevien Attalla, operations manager for the WHO's Dubai hub.

*with agencies