Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday vowed to build a diversified economy, saying the kingdom would continue oil and gas explorations despite the drop in crude oil prices.
Speaking on state television King Salman, who ascended the throne after the death of his brother King Abdullah in January, outlined his domestic and international policy agenda, saying he would work for strengthen the economy and the limit the impact of low oil prices on growth.
“Over the past years high oil prices have positively influenced the Saudi Economy and contributed to the completion of projects,” the king said.
“we shall be working towards building a solid economy based on strong grounds that will lead to the multiplication of the sources of income. This will lead to better savings and better job opportunities in both the public and private sectors. We are going to encourage and support medium and small enterprises to grow, so that these become a strong economic area for a large segment of society,” the king said.
“Though Oil prices are dropping and affecting the Saudi economy, we are working to limit the effects on the development march. And operations for the exploration of Oil and Gas will continue, with the grace of Allah,” the king added.
He said he had ordered a review of regulations to help eradicate corruption, and that he would not allow anyone to meddle with Saudi security and stability.
Addressing the country’s business class, the king said the state would support the private sector “to contribute in national economic development.”
“You are part of the fabric of this country which has granted you many privileges, and it awaits much from you,” the king told business people.
“You have a commitment to your country by taking initiatives in fields of employment and the social and economic services,” the king added.
The king said he would also work to improve social services such as healthcare, education and housing.
“We are working on developing governmental services by improving health care services for all citizens throughout the Kingdom, so that health care centers, referral and specialized hospitals will be available to all citizens wherever they are,” the king said.
“In terms of housing services, we are, by the grace of Allah, going to implement the speedy practical solutions that provide the suitable housing for citizens,” the king added.
“In the field of education, we directed that it be developed through an integration between the public and higher education and its right infrastructure be enhanced to ensure the compatibility between the educational output and the needs of job market,” the king said.