For far too long the Arab world has been accustomed to being told to “read between the lines” when it comes to policy statements from its leadership, leaving many more confused as to the difference between what is intended and what is reality. Not so for the young Saudi Deputy Crown Prince who gave an unscripted and confident interview with MBC to explain many difficult issues in a transparent manner, not shying from putting forward opinions that are against mainstream thinking. In doing so, he has set a high benchmark for others to follow and the public will not now easily accept the old opaque style of passing on messages of critical importance. While the Prince touched upon many political related aspects, such as the Kingdom’s relations with Iran and the war in Yemen, what has attracted worldwide and domestic attention were his comments and explanations on several critical economic issues facing the Kingdom which will shape both the future direction and the welfare of his nation for decades to come.
On Vision 2030 he said that that this will be implemented with specific programs in three stages: 2020, 2025, 2030 and new 10 point interim targets will be unveiled soon. His message was clear - requesting the Saudi population to judge results over many years, with progress and bumps along the way, and not to expect miracles from day one as a generational transformation and getting the bureaucratic and governmental administrative mind set to change takes time. He was not shy to say that, if the economic situation does not improve in the future, the Kingdom will reintroduce cuts in expenditures including public sector allowances, with yet another clear message that this is should no longer be taken for granted but depends on the economy’s performance. At the same time he showed he was in tune with the needs of the population in terms of their house ownership needs, as Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest home ownership ratios in the region, and unveiled an ambitious plan to build new homes using public and private partnerships.
Confident and sharp
For far too long the Arab world has been accustomed to being told to “read between the lines” when it comes to policy statements from its leadership, leaving many more confused as to the difference between what is intended and what is reality. Not so for the young Saudi Deputy Crown PrinceDr. Mohamed Ramady