Deputy Crown Prince says: Vision 2030 constitutes roadmap for Kingdom's development, economy objectives for next 15 years
Saudi Press Agency
Tuesday 1437/7/19 - 2016/04/26
Riyadh, Rajab 19, 1437, April 26, 2016, SPA -- Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and President of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, stressed that the "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030," approved by the cabinet on Monday, constitutes a roadmap for the Kingdom's development and economy objectives for the next 15 years.
In an exclusive interview with AlArabiya News Channel by Turki Aldakhayel, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by late King Abdul Aziz and his companions without the need for oil, pointing out that it is very dangerous to deal with Aramco company as our constitution. He said that Aramco's reverence by some is a very big problem and we have a case of oil addiction in the Kingdom, which disrupted the development. He added that we will turn Aramco into a holding company and move its operations to companies owned by it.
The Deputy Crown Prince explained that high risks would have occurred if there had not been a move to offer Aramco for public subscription, saying that the investment fund will not manage Aramco and there will be a board of directors to manage it. He pointed out that "we have three strong points on which nobody competes with us: they are our Arab and Islamic depth, our investment strength and our geographical location."
On a question concerning women, the Deputy Crown Prince said that women's work is very important and they are half of the society, and they are effective and productive in our country. "Women's car driving is not a religious issue but rather a social one. Until today, society is not convinced with women's driving and believes there will be very negative consequences if women are allowed to drive but I stress that this issue is totally related to the desire of the Saudi society and we cannot impose on them anything they do not want. But in the future, changes occur and we hope to be positive changes.
On Aramco's IPO, the Deputy Crown Prince said the company will offer less than 5% later and companies owned by Aramco will be offered very shortly afterwards. We expect that there will be a growth in the Saudi economy with a very high rate over the next 15 years. We do not expect it to be in the first years because they will be years for reform, but after the years of reform, we expect very high growth that will make us move forward in our position to become one of the twenty largest economic countries in the world.
Asked about young people forming a large proportion in the kingdom and the vision 2030 for this category, the Deputy Crown Prince said that young people are the real power which is the most important feature. The good feature is high, strong and creative ambition. They have high values. The remaining is just to have a vision and achieve it.
Q: Do we allow antiquities' excavators in the kingdom and scientists to excavate with the right to keep them?
A: Yes, this is what we are trying to reach, God willing.
Q: You spoke with respect to the sovereign fund that 50% will be directed to foreign investments and 50% to the inside and we are looking to diversify the economic domestic source. Will there be a preference for the foreign over the domestic or will they be balanced?
A: The fund looks to invest for pure profitability. The fund's function is not to bear the responsibility of the nation. Its role is to create revenues and profits, and the role of government is to look for revenues. So, the focus of the fund is purely an investment focus.
On research centers' planning for years to come, he highlighted care by the king for planning and that many actions have already been taken in 2015. He added, "In addition, we use the Saudi expertise and Saudi offices in the planning and this is an important work that we have a very strong planning on the level of the King and the team that works with king, or the level of government or the Ministry of Planning."
Asked about oil prices, the Deputy Crown Prince said, "We can achieve the vision if the oil price is thirty dollars or less and we think it is nearly impossible that oil loses $ 30 by virtue of the current demand existing in the world." He added that no doubt the rise in oil prices will be important support for realizing this vision which is planned on the basis of achieving a price of $ 30 in order not to put the Kingdom in any risk of low oil prices.
With regard to a question about the vision of the kingdom's economy, the Deputy Crown Prince said the vision was not built on a decline in oil prices. It is a vision to take advantage of the opportunities in our dear homeland.
On a question on Saudi human resources, the Deputy Crown Prince highlighted the great importance of Saudi human resources saying that Saudis are strong and a source for pride. He added that Saudis are able to work in all sectors and will help in achieving this vision while caring for the future generations in the kingdom.
On major international factories in the kingdom, he said that "we have global major factories in the kingdom today.
About his vision on armament and the military, he said the vision addresses the military industries in the kingdom which he hopes to bolster and create a new economic sector providing many jobs and very high profit.
Asked about the kingdom's oil policy, he said that the kingdom already announced in all forums that it does not politicize its oil policies for its political interests in the kingdom. It is only for the benefit of Aramco, he added.
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