Crown Prince Mohamad bin Salman talks about Kingdom Achievements. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince talked about the security and stability of the Kingdom. He also mentioned that the Kingdom would continue its effort and strike with an “iron fist” where security and stability are threatened. More details below.
Crown Prince Mohamad bin Salman talks about Kingdom Achievements
He added, in 2016, the value of non-oil GDP was estimated at 1.8 trillion riyals, and we in the Kingdom began making plans to double that at a rapid pace.
The result was an accelerated growth in the past three years, by 1.3% in 2017, 2.2% in 2018, 3.3% in 2019 and more than 4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, despite some economic challenges. We are considered one of the 10 best countries in dealing with the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic in the G20. We are more optimistic that the pace of growth will accelerate with the end of the pandemic and things return to normalcy, to be one of the fastest growing G20 countries In non-oil GDP in the coming years. “
The Crown Prince also indicated that the Kingdom has placed the unemployment file as one of its priorities, and His Highness said, “Increasing employment rates are the top priority of the government. Work has begun according to Vision 2030 to reform the labor market and provide more jobs for male and female citizens, and Vision 2030 has set an unemployment rate of 7%.” In 2030 as one of its goals.
He added, “During 2018, the unemployment rate reached approximately 13%. Due to the increase in the efficiency of government agencies and the investments of the Public Investment Fund, programs and other government initiatives, we saw the unemployment rate drop successively to 11.8% at the beginning of 2020. We will be at the end of 2020 one of the lowest countries.”
Affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the G20, in which the unemployment rate has increased in some to 15% and 20% and more. We believe that the programs and policies set by the government will enable us to achieve an unemployment rate of 7% before 2030. ” He noted that the category of women represents 64% of the total unemployment rate, stressing, “Our next goal will be to improve the citizen’s income.”
Prince Mohammed bin Salman also referred to the Kingdom’s efforts to boost non-oil revenues and their impact on the economy. He explained, “We have expanded in direct and indirect government spending since 2005. To keep pace with this and to maintain the expansion of spending, the government in accordance with Vision 2030 has undertaken a wide restructuring process for a number of Sectors in a way that enhances the state’s non-oil revenues, and does not make them subject to fluctuations in oil prices, and what this leads to limiting our ability to plan and set or achieve any targets.
His Highness added, “Looking at what was announced last year for the 2020 budget projections, we were talking about expected revenues for the state, which were previously estimated at 833 billion riyals, of which 513 billion riyals were oil revenues. After the collapse of oil prices this year, oil revenues actually decreased to approximately 410 billion riyals.”
These revenues alone are insufficient to cover even the salary item estimated at 504 billion riyals in this year’s budget, not to mention the difficulty of financing other items, which include capital spending of 173 billion riyals, social benefits of 69 billion riyals, operation and maintenance estimated at 140 billion riyals, and others. This means an economic recession, millions of jobs lost. “
The Crown Prince stated, “If we did not raise non-oil revenues to about 360 billion riyals this year, and if we remained at the 2015 levels estimated at nearly 100 billion riyals, we would have to reduce the salaries of workers in the public sector by more than 30%, and completely cancel the allowances and bonuses.” And a complete cessation of capital spending, and the inability to properly operate and maintain state assets, and we stopped even subsidizing financing expenditures.
Salaries and allowances
“With our great pain to cancel the cost of living allowance, we have succeeded in preserving citizens’ salaries and most of the allowances and bonuses, and continuing with capital spending amounting to 137 billion riyals, and increasing spending on operation and maintenance, and bearing the high costs of health care due to the pandemic, amounting to 188 billion riyals.
With full commitment to the item of social benefits, subsidies and financing support. All this makes us remember the importance of the country not being hostage to any volatility in any sector, and that diversifying revenues is important and vital to the state’s sustainability, and we are working on that seriously through the investments of the Public Investment Fund and supporting new sectors such as Tourism, sports, industry, agriculture, transportation, space, mining, etc., in addition to working with the private sector. “
When starting to prepare a comprehensive program to reform the economy, we made a clear commitment in Vision 2030 that we will seek to raise the percentage of citizens’ ownership of housing 5% within 4 years, and the percentage was then approximately 47%, which means reaching 52% in 2020 AD, the percentage that is considered good internationally. But today we have reached 60%, exceeding the target by 8%. “
The Crown Prince affirmed, “I have no doubt – God willing – that we will exceed the 2030 target of 62% in 2025, which means that we will exceed the target in 2030. We will be one of the highest countries in the world in terms of home ownership. Not to mention that during the past twenty years there has been a waiting list.”
A citizen for housing reaches about 15 years and today the entitlement has become immediate. This is an example of one sector that was one of the most complex issues in the Kingdom, and it turned into an unprecedented success story with innovative solutions, lower costs and better services, which contributed to the creation of nearly 40 thousand direct jobs, and more About 115 billion riyals in gross domestic product.
Turning to the development that has taken place and the achievements that have been made in the digital sector, he explained, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved the first place in digital competitiveness at the level of the G20 countries in the past three years, and has jumped 40 places in the digital infrastructure index for communications and information technology.
In the digital structure of the Kingdom, which resulted in an increase in the average internet speed until we became the first country in fifth generation speeds, and among the top ten countries in the world in mobile Internet speeds after we were outside the list of the top 100 countries. We doubled the number of homes connected to the optical fiber network by 3 times from A million homes to 3.5 million homes. This unique global digital transformation enabled us to continue work for more than 94% of government agencies and the private sector during the pandemic period, and to raise the rate of localization of jobs in the sector to 50%.
The Crown Prince emphasized the contribution of the Public Investment Fund to the development of the economy, saying, “The Public Investment Fund has become one of the main engines for the growth of the Saudi economy. We have been able to double the size of the Public Investment Fund from 560 billion riyals to more than 1.3 trillion riyals, with a steady pace towards achieving the goal of Vision 2030. That the fund’s assets exceed 7 trillion riyals, not only that, since the fund’s establishment, the rate of return on investment has been no more than 2% in the best case.
Today, we in the Public Investment Fund do not achieve less than 7%. We have investments whose returns exceeded 70%, and others exceeded 140%. This is an exceptional change that provides the state with sustainable incomes that did not exist in the past.
Had it not been for the reform of the Public Investment Fund, which was carried out under the direction of My Lord, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to reshuffle its board of directors and assign me to preside over its great importance in the present and future of the Kingdom’s economy, and to set policies to pump huge investments into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the past years, we would have lost more than half of the non-oil growth. And the absence of a large number of jobs that have been created, a collapse in demand for many services, products and materials, and the bankruptcy of a large number of companies, especially in light of the low oil prices.
His Highness added, “We can imagine the Saudi economy without the fund’s investments, as the fund’s local investments amounted to 78 billion riyals in 2017, 79 billion riyals in 2018, and 58 billion riyals in 2019, and we are targeting 96 billion in 2020 with a total of 311 billion riyals during the past four years.
Which contributed to the creation of more than 190 thousand jobs, noting that the fund’s domestic investment in developing sectors did not exceed 3 billion riyals annually before 2017. In 2021 and 2022, the fund will pump approximately 150 billion annually into the Saudi economy and with an annual increase until 2030. Providing this liquidity through liquidating and recycling the Fund’s investments to enter into new opportunities and create a local economic cycle that enables the emergence of new sectors, and contributes to providing new revenues for the state.
Regarding the ongoing campaign to eradicate corruption in the Kingdom, His Highness the Crown Prince stated, “Corruption has spread in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the past decades like cancer, and has consumed 5% to 15% of the state budget. This means that 5% to 15% perform worse at least. An estimate of the level of services, projects, number of jobs, etc.
Not only for one or two years, but cumulatively over thirty years, and I sincerely consider this scourge the first enemy of development and prosperity and the cause of the loss of many great opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This thing has become a thing of the past and will not.
It is repeated after today on any scale, without a strong and painful account of those who beg for himself, big or small.The results of the anti-corruption campaign were clear to everyone, as the total of the proceeds of the anti-corruption settlements reached 247 billion riyals in the past three years, representing 20% of the total non-oil revenues, in addition to other assets in the tens of billions that were transferred to the Ministry of Finance, and will be recorded in the revenues when they are liquidated, including Of real estate and stocks. “
Prince Mohammed bin Salman also noted the Kingdom’s efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism and extremism, saying, “The phenomenon of extremism among us was rampant, and we reached a stage in which we aim, in the best case, to coexist with this scourge. Eliminating it was not an option on the ground. It is possible.
I made promises in 2017 that we will eliminate extremism immediately, and we have actually started a serious campaign to address the causes and address the phenomena. Within one year, we were able to eliminate an ideological project made over 40 years. Today, extremism is no longer acceptable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He no longer appears on the surface, but rather is an outcast, disguised, and withdrawn.
However, we will continue to face any extremist appearances, behaviors and ideas. The Saudis have proven their true tolerance and their rejection of these ideas that were alien to them from outside parties that covered the cloak of religion, and will never allow it to exist among them again.
He added, “Hate speech is the main motive for the recruitment of extremists and that includes hate speech that uses freedom of expression and human rights as justification. This type of speech attracts counter-hate speech from extremists, and it is, of course, rejected. The kingdom condemns and rejects every terrorist act or practices.”
Acts that generate hatred and violence and are committed to confronting extremist rhetoric, as it rejects any attempt to link Islam with terrorism, and affirms that intellectual freedom is a means of respect and tolerance, and Islam criminalizes these terrorist operations and forbids bloodshed and prevents treachery and unlawful killing of the believers. He himself may carry out a terrorist act and exploit hate speech with a deterrent, painful and very severe punishment.
We hope that the world will stop contempt of religions and attacking religious and national symbols under the slogan of freedom of expression because this will create a fertile environment for extremism and terrorism.
The Crown Prince added, “Since the first terrorist operation in 1996 and increasingly until 2017, hardly a year passes without a terrorist operation. Rather, the situation reached a terrorist operation every quarter or less. Rather, between 2012 and 2017 these terrorists arrived inside the headquarters.”
Since mid-2017, and after restructuring the Ministry of the Interior and reforming the security sector, the number of terrorist operations in Saudi Arabia has decreased to nearly zero until today, a successful terrorist operation, with the exception of a few individual attempts that did not achieve their hateful goals. Our work today has become proactive, and we will continue in Striking an iron fist against anyone who would like to undermine our security and stability.
Geographical and demographic diversity
He stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing a quantum leap in new and promising sectors due to the unique cultural heritage and geographic and demographic diversity that the Kingdom possesses that allow the Kingdom to be among the largest countries in the sectors of tourism, culture, sports, entertainment and others. In this regard, His Highness explained,
“We are working according to Vision 2030 to develop these sectors. Our vision for these sectors is very promising and I would like to cite a number of achievements and figures that have been achieved in a very short period. The tourism sector has been restructured in the past period and we have raised the tourism sector’s contribution to the output.” The gross domestic product (GDP), to reach 3.6% in 2018. This growth opened up new job sectors and contributed to the employment of hundreds of thousands of Saudis and Saudi women, and we are still at the beginning. “
The Crown Prince added, “We have suffered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from desertification, scarcity of rain and frequent dust waves. Since 2016, we have worked to raise the percentage of natural reserves from 4% to more than 14% of the total lands of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and a special force for environmental security has been established.”
The number of its employees has reached 1100, and we aim to raise the number to 10,000 during the next four years, and we have adopted many initiatives to raise the percentage of vegetation cover over the past years, and other initiatives. We will also present huge initiatives to protect the environment in the world within the framework of our presidency of the G20.
Sports, Recreation and Culture Sector
In the sports sector, His Highness explained, “The percentage of citizens practicing sports increased from 13% in 2015 to 19% in 2019. The sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from 2.4 billion riyals in 2016 to 6.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 170% in just two years.
Mohamad Bin Salman Said that, we have also worked on developing all sports federations and increasing their number, for example the Saudi Automobile Federation has not hosted any international championships since its inception, while in the last two years only, the Federation has succeeded in hosting the three most important championships in the world, namely Football, Formula E, Formula 1, and the Dakar Rally. We were able to raise the market value of the Saudi League to become the highest among Arab leagues, and from the top 20 leagues in the world. We are also working with the same momentum on the rest of the federations.
In the entertainment sector, His Highness pointed out, “We have been keen to facilitate obtaining licenses for events, which resulted in an increase in the number of events held in the Kingdom to more than 3,400 events in 2019, which contributed to raising spending rates for citizens, residents, visitors and tourists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, resulting in tens of thousands of Permanent jobs and hundreds of thousands of seasonal jobs. “
In the culture sector, His Highness the Crown Prince noted, “Engaging in cultural fields has been prohibited, but today we see the Ministry of Culture establishing 11 bodies that work aggressively to develop all cultural sectors, which has a very significant impact on creating jobs, developing the economy, improving the quality of life and making our country more capable of Attracting international talent and tourists.
Space and environment
The Crown Prince added, “The space sector has a direct impact on communications and technology and has a link with many sectors such as the environment, transportation and others, and it will be a fundamental possibility for many sectors in the near future. Therefore, I made sure to raise to the position of My Lord, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in 2018 by establishing a space commission and proposing a board of directors.” And now we are working through the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and the competent authorities to approve the Kingdom’s space strategy for the next ten years, and to assign the Space Authority to implement it, and its details will be announced at a later period.
His Highness added, “Reforming the work environment and developing services is a major possibility. For example, the total requirements for investment licenses were reduced by 50%, the commercial records and municipality licenses were issued immediately and electronically, and the containers were cleared in 24 hours after they were up to two weeks. More About 279 services on the “Absher” platform, benefiting 18 million beneficiaries, in addition to the “Nagz” platform, which has contributed to the reception of tens of thousands of electronic justice services, and to complete them within minutes. “
The Crown Prince touched on the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the rights file, and pointed out, “In the past, Saudi women cannot travel without a permit, cannot attend sporting and cultural events, cannot drive a car, cannot practice a lot of work, and cannot complete their cases without a mahram. She suffered from this for decades, but today Saudi women are experiencing an unprecedented stage of empowerment. We have worked to empower Saudi women in the field of work and personal status, and today they are effectively a partner for the Saudi man in the development of our entire homeland without discrimination. I am not talking about women driving cars only, I am talking about providing her with the opportunity to lead the development in her country in the broadest sense. For example, the rate of women’s participation in the labor market has doubled from 17% to 31%.
He added, “With regard to the rights of expatriates, we have taken various measures to restructure the contractual relationship in a way that preserves their rights and contributes to raising the degree of maturity in the labor market, and we have worked to correct the conditions of nearly half a million expatriates on the land of the Kingdom, to attract qualified workers with added value. Improving the contractual relationship to give the expatriate worker more freedom of career mobility, and it is expected that this initiative will raise worker productivity and increase competitiveness in the Saudi economy.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman concluded his speech, “These achievements would not have been achieved without the faith and work of the Saudi citizen, who today has become a pioneer in initiative, achievement and work. I have assigned the Minister of Information and the concerned ministers to hold a periodic press conference to discuss developments in government work and activate communication channels with all groups, and to answer them.
Finally, I would like to renew my thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz for unleashing opportunities and supporting work and achievement, and I thank the mighty Saudi people for doing a wonderful job through which we were able to achieve a lot, and I thank the public and private sectors for their concerted work and hard work to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. (Source: Akhbaar)
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