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26 Apr 2016

Saudi prince unveils 'Vision 2030' for the country

Saudi's grand new vision for a post-oil economy

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled his "Saudi Vision 2030" for the future of the country.

The plan is a blueprint for life in a low-oil-price world.

Approved by King Salman, it includes regulatory, budget and policy changes that will be implemented over the next 15 years in the hope of making the kingdom less reliant on oil.

In context

Saudi's grand new vision for a post-oil economy

Prince Mohammed, second in line to throne

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the second in line to the throne. He was given a broad array of positions since his father, King Salman, ascended to the Saudi throne last year. As defense minister, he had overseen the war in Yemen.

Vision 2030: Steps to diversify economy

26 Apr 2016

Vision 2030: Steps to diversify economy

'Vision 2030' envisaged raising non-oil revenue to 600 billion riyals ($160 billion) by 2020 and 1 trillion riyals ($267 billion) by 2030, from 163.5 billion riyals ($43.6 billion) last year.

It includes selling shares of state-owned companies, injecting money into public investment fund, and privatizing sectors like airports, education and health care.

The planned diversification also involves localizing renewable energy, focus on tourism, etc,.

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26 Apr 2016

Selling stake in state-owned Aramco

Central to the blueprint released by Prince Mohammed, was selling shares of the state oil giant, Saudi Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company).

While Aramco's valuation hasn't been completed, the company is expected to be worth more than $2 trillion, the prince said, making the planned initial public offering the world's biggest oil firm.

"We plan to sell less than 5% of Aramco," he said.

Transformation of Public Investment Fund

The existing state-controlled Public Investment Fund will be restructured into a giant sovereign wealth fund, to hold state assets. Its capital would be raised to 7 trillion riyals ($2 trillion) from the current 600 billion riyals ($160 billion).

Educational reforms and increased role for women

26 Apr 2016

Educational reforms and increased role for women

According to Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia would prepare a new education curriculum.

Despite previous reform attempts, the kingdom's schools focused on religious teachings rather than preparing students for a role in a modern economy.

The envisioned plan would also alter the social structure of the country by pushing for women to have a bigger economic role, including an increased participation of women in workforce.

26 Apr 2016

Focus on reducing unemployment, creating opportunities

Saudi aims to reduce the unemployment to 7 percent from 11.6 percent.

The country looks to produce/assemble most of its defense equipment domestically, in order to create job opportunities.

"Our aim is to localize over 50 percent of military equipment spending. We have already begun developing less complex industries such as those providing spare parts, armored vehicles and basic ammunition," read the vision document.

Green Card system for expats

In a major shift for the insular kingdom, Saudi would launch a green card system within five years to enable expatriate Arabs and Muslims to live and work long-term in the country. This will give more rights to expatriates to invest in the country

8 May 2016

Saudi oil minister removed in major reshuffle

Saudi Arabia announced the ouster of its long-serving oil minister Ali al-Naimi, as part of a larger ongoing government shakeup.

A royal decree announced that al-Naimi has been replaced by former Health Minister and Saudi Aramco board chairman Khaled al-Falih.

The announcement comes amidst the implementation of wide-ranging reforms, aimed at overhauling the Saudi economy over low oil prices and eroding state revenues.

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