Highlights of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince’s interview with Al Arabiya

Among the themes raised in the interview were plans to put oil giant Aramco's shares in an initial public offering

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In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News Channel on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the kingdom’s Vision 2030 roadmap and pledged to end Riyadh’s dependence on oil revenue by 2020.

Among the themes raised in the interview, conducted by Al Arabiya News Channel’s General Manager Turki Al-Dakhi, were plans to put oil giant Aramco's shares in an initial public offering, the Saudi public investment fund, a US-style Green Card residency scheme, tourism, expats, defense and further details on the Saudi Vision.

As part of the new strategy, Saudi Arabia will sell less than 5 percent of oil giant Aramco's shares via a partial IPO, the prince said, adding that it is set to be the “biggest IPO in history.”

He also said he expected Aramco to be valued at more than $2 trillion, and that he wanted it to be transformed into a holding company with an elected board, and then added that subsidiaries of the company would also be sold by IPO.

"The 5 percent is from the parent company," he said. Aramco is the world’s biggest and most valuable oil producing company, with about 10 million barrels per day of output, or about 10 percent of global production. Its market value is estimated to be in the trillions.

Prince Mohammad said the partial IPO will turn Saudi Arabia into an investment-driven economy and will turn the kingdom into a “global player.”

He added: “The kingdom can live in 2020 without any dependence on oil … the Saudi addiction to oil has disturbed development of many sectors in past years.”

"We plan to set up a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund... part of its assets will come from the sale of a small part of Aramco," the prince said.

The fund will include current Saudi fiscal assets of around $600 billion, as well as returns from the sales of Aramco shares and state-owned real estate and industrial areas estimated to be worth $1 trillion, he said.

"We restructured the fund. We included new assets in the fund, Aramco and other assets, and we fixed the problems of the current assets that the public investment fund owns, both in terms of companies and other projects," he said.

"Initial data say the fund will have control over more than 10 percent of global investment capacity."

Green Cards, tourism and expats

On the highly-anticipated topic of the Green Card for expatriates in the kingdom, the deputy crown prince said the scheme “will be ready within five years.”

“The Green Card will allow Muslims and Arabs to live in Saudi Arabia for a long time and will be a source for revenue for the government,” he added.

Prince Mohammed also revealed aims for Saudi Arabia to open up for all tourists, “within our beliefs and values,” stressing on the importance of revitalizing culture and entertainment in kingdom.

Discussing plans for Saudi Arabia to build the world’s biggest Islamic museum, Prince Mohammed said: “How can the kingdom be the holiest site for Muslims and have no Islamic museum?”