saudi arabia vision 2030 pdf billion and driven the ruling family to contrive hastily a financial rescue plan. Are Jihadi Motives Really a Mystery? Is Iran’s Regime About to Fall?
What Are Iranians Really Protesting About? Is the Western Wall Judaism’s Holiest Site? Can Iran Become a World Power? Pentagon by defense secretary Ash Carter, May 13, 2015. Salman’s “Vision 2030” plan to revolutionize the Saudi economy is visionary but unsound. The plan fails to address the fact that the Saudi state rests on the three pillars of religion, tribalism, and oil.
On April 25, 2016, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman announced the “Vision 2030” plan to revolutionize the Saudi economy by ending its dependency on oil. 8 percent between 2003 and 2013, less than most emerging economies. The plan seeks to reduce the role of the public sector and bureaucracy while simultaneously empowering the private sector to become the main employer and vehicle for economic growth. 5 percent stake in Aramco. Saudi intention to address its alarming monetary deficit but voiced subtle doubts about Vision 2030, specifically because its 14-year time frame “sets a bold and far-reaching transformation of the economy to diversify growth, reduce dependence on oil, and increase the role of the private sector.
Another more critical assessment by John Edwards, a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, warned that, in order for the plan to be successful, it must “profoundly change Saudi society and politics. And selling 5 percent of Aramco cannot reverse the kingdom’s gloomy economic outlook unless revenues are generated as soon as possible from non-oil sources since the proceeds from the IPO equal the annual depletion rate of cash assets. Riyadh has already wasted precious time, having spent trillions of dollars in 1970-2014 on nine 5-year development plans that left 90 percent of the annual Saudi budget dependent on oil revenues. Saudi Arabia has established itself in the gold market and is now looking to expand into the copper, zinc, and phosphate markets.
But mining does not require a large workforce and may not contribute much to the economic revitalization projected by the Vision 2030 plan. 2 trillion investment program, which will double Riyadh’s GDP over the next fourteen years. Yet, a sober economic analysis describes the ability to raise such a staggering amount of money as “practically next to impossible, unless crude oil prices see a significant appreciation, or Saudi Arabia plans to sell a higher portion of Aramco. Since the goal of Vision 2030 is to double GDP by increasing the industrial output of the private sector, investment in appropriate industries is a requirement.
Vision 2030 focuses on creating jobs for Saudis to operate a modern, productivity-led economy. This raises the question of what industries to promote though “it is easier to say what kind of economy it won’t be. These include “mining and metals, petrochemicals, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, finance, and construction. The contribution of the private sector to the GDP would rise from 40 percent to 60 percent, thus lowering unemployment from 11 percent to 7. This expansion of the Saudi economy is projected to enable it to move from its “current position as the 19th largest economy in the world into the top 15. However, serious issues impede the planned economic expansion.
For example, Riyadh cannot realistically compete in labor-intensive manufacturing industries, as low wages do not appeal to Saudis accustomed to high-paying public sector jobs. The petrochemical sector is already well developed and has little room to absorb more workers. The same thing goes for mining, which also does not require a large workforce. Even if Saudi Arabia further develops its health care sector, it would be virtually impossible for it to become a medical hub because other facilities elsewhere in the region, such as in Lebanon and Jordan, are already far more advanced and readily accessible. Likewise, banking and finance require specialized training, and it is doubtful that the kingdom can carve a niche in this very competitive regional sector.
10 billion in revenues by 2021. Religious tourism does not actually need government investment because the Saudi private sector can readily handle it. But the main hurdle slowing the growth of religious tourism is the Saudi reluctance to issue visas. Privatization will increase dependence on foreign skilled labor because Saudis lack the skills and motivation to do manual or strenuous work. The proposed Saudi economic expansion necessitates building the infrastructure for a new industrial economy that will consume much of the proposed investment fund without assurances that it can generate sustainable revenues.
Judging by the expansion of the Saudi development infrastructure over the past five decades, the need for expatriate personnel, including highly paid executives and skilled specialists, will increase exponentially. Privatization will also increase dependence on foreign skilled labor, despite the unattractiveness of the Saudi work environment, because Saudis lack the necessary skills and motivation to do manual or strenuous work. Another Vision 2030 goal is to place at least five national universities among the world’s top two hundred and to empower Saudi students to exceed international averages in education indicators. But academic rankings are unnecessary: What the country needs is heavy investment in vocational education, which the vast majority of Saudis reject and consider beneath them. There is very little in Vision 2030 that previous Saudi development plans did not target. Saudi workforce while creating a knowledge economy in an environment of progressive structural development. Riyadh no longer has the luxury of ignoring the relationship between economic and political development.
The transformation into a production state is bound to create a knowledge economy and break the kingdom’s tribal-based system. Long gone are the days when Saudi Arabia could enjoy a holiday from politics as a result of “the lack of binding budgetary constraints,which reduced and sometimes even eliminated the need to set spending priorities and allocate scarce economic resources. The King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Riyadh was the first teaching hospital established in Saudi Arabia. However, with only a 104-bed capacity, the hospital is representative of how far the kingdom must go to become a medical hub.
Other facilities, such as those in Lebanon and Jordan, are far more advanced and readily accessible. But contrary to what one might expect from a country that claims to be committing itself to economic liberalization and ensuring the happiness of its people, the Saudi government is further clamping down on the freedom of expression—dismal to begin with—under the guise of promoting religious moderation. Yet, no matter what the government does to quiet demands for freedom of expression and participation, privatizing the economy and an influx of foreign investors and technicians, along with their families, are bound to “strain the conservative rules of Saudi society. Saudi Wahhabi religious doctrine is injurious to the cause of modernity.