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7 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

INTERVIEW WITH HIS

INTERVIEW WITH HIS EXCELLENCY THE AMBASSADOR ABDULRAHMAN BIN SULEIMAN AL AHMED, AMBASSADOR OF THE CUSTODIAN OF THE TWO HOLY MOSQUES TO THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM AND THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA’S VISION 2030 Any developed economy that wants to remain dynamic and vibrant must be flexible and innovative to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the global economy. Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s ambitious agenda, which will diversify and restructure the Kingdom’s economy, improve the governance of Saudi resources, and improve quality of life for all Saudi citizens. This socio-economic roadmap, master-minded by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and approved by the Saudi government and King Salman bin Abdulaziz, is already under implementation. In April 2016, the Saudi Cabinet, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, approved the country’s Vision 2030, an economic roadmap which will end the Kingdom’s dependence on oil revenue. The historic vision was developed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. It includes a number of goals and reform strategies for the Kingdom’s long-term economic success, including reductions in subsidies, the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, opening 4

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud: © Embassy of Saudi Arabia “Our country is rich in its natural resources. We are not dependent solely on oil for our energy needs. Gold, phosphate, uranium, and many other valuable minerals are found beneath our land. But our real wealth lies in the ambition of our people and the potential of our younger generation. They are our nation’s pride and the architects of our future ... Our people will amaze the world again.” Saudi Aramco to private investment through a partial IPO, and reforms to several industries including tourism and defence. “We are determined to reinforce and diversify the capabilities of our economy, turning our key strengths into enabling tools for a fully diversified future,” said Prince Mohammed. “We are determined to build a thriving country in which all citizens can fulfill their dreams, hopes and ambitions.” The vision is built around three primary themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. In order to achieve a vibrant society, Saudi Arabia will focus on its people and the Islamic faith. This will happen through a series of commitments, including: • Increasing the number of Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million annually. We have been given the privilege to serve the Two Holy Mosques, the pilgrims and all visitors to the blessed holy sites. In the last decade, the number of Umrah visitors entering the country from abroad has tripled, reaching 8 million people. This is a noble responsibility. It requires us to spare no effort in seeking to offer pilgrims with all they need, so we fulfil our duty to provide good hospitality to our brothers and sisters. In this context, we have begun a third expansion to the Two Holy Mosques, as well as modernizing and increasing the capacities of our airports. We have launched the Makkah Metro project to complement the railroad and train projects that will serve visitors to the Holy Mosques and holy sites. We have reinforced the network of our transport system to facilitate access and help pilgrims perform their visits with greater ease and convenience. At the same time, we will enrich pilgrims’ spiritual journeys and cultural experiences while in the Kingdom. We will establish more museums, prepare new tourist and historical sites and cultural venues, and improve the pilgrimage experience within the Kingdom. 5

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