US economists, financiers show interest in Saudi Vision 2030

The economic plan has caught the attention of the American government, economists, financiers and mega companies

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Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan, and the National Transformation Program (NTP) derived from it, have caught the attention of the American government, economists, financiers and mega companies after they were briefed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Saturday.

Interacting with the Saudi media, Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi said the Deputy Crown Prince’s meeting with President Obama was distinctive and successful. They discussed various subjects including energy, the Kingdom’s keenness to maintain stable oil prices and finding other sources for alternative energy.

The meeting discussed the details of Saudi Vision 2030 and the programs derived from it including NTP 2020.

They also discussed the latest regional issues including Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

He said ministers accompanying the deputy crown prince gave lectures at several American centers. They spoke on Saudi Vision 2030 and NTP 2020 as well as the announcement of over 500 initiatives. He said these lectures received positive attention from the Americans. They described the Kingdom as being on the threshold of economic, social, political and regional change.

Infographic: Saudi National Transformation Program. (Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya English)
Infographic: Saudi National Transformation Program. (Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya English)

Dr. Muhammad Bin Abdulmalik Al-Asheikh, minister of state and cabinet member, said that US officials saw that the Kingdom has a clear strategy and specific goals. They lauded the transparency and executive programs for the coming 15 years. He said during their meetings with the Deputy Crown Prince, the Americans focused on manpower that Saudi Vision 2030 attached importance to.

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, minister of finance, said that despite the fact that many big American companies are working in the Saudi market and are dealing with it, when they heard the details of Saudi Vision 2030 from the Deputy Crown Prince, they showed interest in expanding their investments.

Al-Assaf said in his dialogue, the Deputy Crown Prince focused on the local content in the economy and increasing it. This means dependence on local industries – either local manufacturers or big companies — in place of imports. He said the Deputy Crown Prince granted the first work license for the first American company to work in the Kingdom. He described this as an important step in the local market.

Al-Assaf said the goal of investments is direct investment in industries and activities in the Kingdom.

Khaled Al-Faleh, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said the important subjects discussed with the American government’s economic team and the Department of Energy focused on oil and energy in general, considering them to be the strong foundation for the strong economic relations between the two countries.

Al-Faleh said despite the surplus in the global oil production during the past two years and the low prices at present, oil is still preoccupying the concern of the big world countries because it is a commodity that has cycles of rise and fall.

All realize that after the end of the current low price cycle, it will have an impact on investment in energy. There will be need for a country like the Kingdom that has a depth, a good status and strategic capability to strike a balance between supply and demand.

He said the Kingdom will begin procedures for joining the climate change agreement that followed the France meeting. This will be after completing the legal procedures by the Shoura Council and Council of Ministers.

Al-Faleh said American companies have been invited to double their investments in the Kingdom.

Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid Abdullah Al-Qasabi said during the visit the Deputy Crown Prince granted Dow Chemical a license to invest in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on June 19, 2016.

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