Opinion and Editorial

New Saudi Crown Prince a symbol of progress

Filed on June 21, 2017
New Saudi Crown Prince a symbol of progress


The hard-working leader offers a hopeful vision, especially for its large youth population who will hopefully see their aspirations addressed

Mohammed bin Salman is an ambitious man, one who has a vision for the kingdom. In the last two-and-a-half years, in his capacity as the Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed has tirelessly worked to propose and bring about changes on several fronts. Now his appointment as the Crown Prince will ensure the continuity of a policy that was largely seen as essential in an era of falling oil prices. He is a reformer. On the economic front, he envisions weaning off the Kingdom's economy from its dependence on oil. Traditionally, the Saudi Arabia has relied on oil for more than 90 per cent of its state budget. Besides, Saudi Vision 2030, which he rolled out last year, is a bold new economic policy vision. It proposes to usher in reforms, and encourage the private sector to play a more aggressive and active role. The way forward is to overhaul the Saudi economy and diversify it, and along the way create more job opportunities-as many as five million by some accounts-and renew economic growth. He has also proposed unlocking value in Saudi Aramco, which will lead to the world's biggest listing on capital markets. He has talked about cutting subsidies on oil, water and electricity, and also setting up a sovereign wealth fund to make investments abroad.

As a minister in charge of defence, the young prince had crafted a proactive policy for Saudi's military that saw a massive intervention in Yemen and a no-nonsense attitude towards Iran. On the social front, he has favoured more rights for women. Rightly so, at 31, Mohammed symbolises the hopes of the youthful population in Saudi Arabia, half of whom are under the age of 25. With young Prince Mohammed next in line for the throne, Saudi Arabia can set a policy for decades. The hard-working leader offers a hopeful vision for the kingdom's future, especially for its large youth population who will hopefully see their aspirations addressed.

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