We are close to achieving goals of Saudi Arabia’s vision before 2030

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Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy Prime Minister and minister of defense, said on Tuesday that the Saudi Arabia would achieve many of its Vision 2030 goals before 2030.

In a television interview broadcast by Al-Arabiya, he reviewed the most prominent achievements of the Saudi Vision 2030 on the occasion of the 5-year anniversary of its launch.

He said, “It is in my interest for the Saudi nation to grow and for the Saudi citizens to be satisfied.”

In the interview conducted by journalist Abdullah Al-Mudayfer, the Crown Prince affirmed that unemployment before the vision was 14 per cent, and we aim to reduce it to 11 per cent this year.

He stressed that the Kingdom aims “to reduce unemployment to 7 per cent to 4 per cent in 2030.”

The Crown Prince affirmed that there is never any project to impose an income tax in Saudi Arabia, and said that the maximum imposition of a value-added tax of 15 per cent due to the pandemic, is a temporary decision and will not last more than 5 years.

He said that before the discovery of oil, Saudi Arabia and the  Kingdom were served oil, which is still an integral part of the revenue, however, the Vision 2030 was launched in order to achieve ambitions for a stronger economy and a better life for Saudis by strengthen the economy with funds and investments.

Crown Prince Mohammed revealed that more shares of Saudi Aramco will be sold to foreign investors within a year or two.

“Vision 2030″ came in order to achieve the greatest ambition in a stronger economy and a better life for Saudis. We are close to achieving a number of the goals of the vision before 2030,” he said, pointing out that 2019 saw the achievement of most of the goals.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia explained details related to the vision launched by the Kingdom in 2016, including developing housing policies, developing legislation, and ensuring an increase in the private sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s economy, reviewing influential economic figures, most notably the rise in the Saudi Stock Market Index (Tadawul), from levels 6 and 7.

In response to accusations of haste he said, “If we have an opportunity and we did not act on it under the pretext of not being rushed, then we are lagging.”

Among the Vision’s achievements so far are raising Saudi home ownership to 60% from 47% since 2016 has been successful.The Vision has also made strides in the tourism sector and aspires to create 3 million jobs in the field until 2030.

On education, Crown Prince Mohammed said vision aims to make three universities in  Saudi Arabia that will rank in the top 200 in the world. He further said that the sources of education have opened up, adding that attention will be paid to development skills.

Regarding health, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the transformation program in the health sector would bring about a major change in the level of services.

Speaking about Riyadh, he said that King Salman had a great plan for the city, and it is one of the best cities in terms of infrastructure, compared to other cities in the world with a population of more than 5 million. He emphasized that the focus would be not only on Riyadh but also on various cities in the state.

Regarding the Green Saudi Initiative and the Green Middle East, Crown Prince said that plant cover in Saudi Arabia has increased by 40 per cent in the last four years, explaining that the direct impact of environmental concerns is tourism and attracting capital.