The world economy could have done ‘without’ the US debt crisis
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s journey to achieve the development goals outlined in Vision 2030 will not end at the end of this decade, said Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Zadan.
Speaking in Doha at the Qatar Economic Forum on Wednesday, Al-Jadan said Saudi Arabia has long-term plans for its infrastructure development.
His comments came as part of the Vision 2030 initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016 to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil.
“This journey will not end in 2030. It is a continuous journey and there are plenty of opportunities to be seized and exploited,” Al-Jadan said.
“You have seen many attempts to invest in infrastructure. These are long-term projects. We don’t own it. In fact, we are trying to ensure that not only the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) but the entire region benefits,” he added.
The minister also highlighted the various stages of development that Saudi Arabia has gone through in recent years and said that the Kingdom will be the fastest growing economy among the G20 countries in 2022.
“We ended last year with 8.7% economic growth. Most important is the non-oil economy, which grew 5.4% last year and 5.8% in the first quarter of 2023. Unemployment in Saudi Arabia is the lowest, while employment in the private sector is at an all-time high,” the minister said. said.
Al-Jadan further pointed out that the share of women in the workforce in Saudi Arabia is currently 36%, which is more than double the figure five years ago.
The minister added that the Gulf region, especially Saudi Arabia, has all the potential to become a global trade hub given its unique geographical location.
“Saudi Arabia is in a very unique position, amidst cross-border trade routes, we connect Asia, Africa and Europe. This gives you a competitive advantage. We see it in the number of ports in the top 10 in the world, which are in the region. In terms of international passenger traffic, the Gulf has some of the busiest airports in the world,” Al-Jadan argued.
“This area is very promising in today’s highly complex world. This did not happen by chance, but significant progress was made through long-term integration aimed at diversifying the economy.
Speaking at the same event, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the Gulf region’s uniqueness was its “remarkable commitment to pursue reforms”.
“Some people think the fortune of the Gulf is oil and gas. Indeed, the Gulf’s fortunes lie in its determination to steer the economy on a long-term sustainable path,” he noted.
This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com