Hamed Fayez, Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Culture on Thursday said Saudi Arabia led the efforts to put culture and the creative industries on the global map through an important platform, the G20.
“Our proudest moment happened last year when Prince Badr [the Minister of Culture] in the year of us [Saudi Arabia] assuming the presidency of the G20, convinced G20 countries and the body to embed a cultural theme for the first time,” Fayez recalled.
The vice minister was speaking at the fifth annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Forum in Riyadh.
He added: “With the help of our Italian friends in 2021, this had been formalized, and today it’s part of the G20 agenda for the foreseeable future.”
“Fifty percent of our employees are young, talented Saudi females. And more than a third of our leadership, actually are Saudi talented leaders - female leaders as well,” Fayez said.
The average age within the Ministry of Culture, he said, is around 32 years old.
“What our demographics show is that we are a true reflection of [Saudi Arabia’s] Vision 2030,” he added.
“Change is happening now,” he said, in a session titled: ‘Feeding our Minds: The Future of Culture.”
For the next three months, the ministry will have “more than 100 cultural engagements, events, or initiatives that are being launched,” Fayez said.
“In 2022, we have 940 cultural days planned, we have three new public libraries, ten [public libraries] revamped... we have hundreds of millions of riyals worth of sector developmental programs that have either been launched or will be launched,” the vice minister added.
This includes $100 million slated for the film sector alone, he said.
“We feel that over the next 10 years, the cultural sector’s contribution to the Saudi economy will multiply by more than five times and more than 100,000 jobs will be created in the process.”
One of the Ministry of Culture’s main strategic aspirations is to be “at the center of global cultural exchange.”
“We want to share with the rest of the world what the best of our culture has to offer and learn from the rest of the world.”
The vice minister said they will be doing this through partnerships and by participating in global events.
Other speakers in the session included Shashi Menon, the CEO of Nervora, and Jerry Inzarello, the Group CEO of Diryah Gate Development Authority.
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