Saudi Arabia will celebrate its 88 th National Day on 23rd September

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to India H.E. Dr. Saud Mohammed Al Sati gave a public message  said  Kingdom is bringing prosperity for the people

Asia Times Desk

New Delhi : (Asia Times / Agency ) On September 23, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will celebrate its 88 th National Day.

It marks the day the Kingdom was unified under the founding King Abdulaziz bin

Abdulrahman Al Saud in 1932. On this occasion, we also celebrate the progress our

great nation has made over the last nine decades to become a modern state and a

major player on the international arena.

Yet another milestone event in our nation’s historic journey under the leadership of

the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Crown

Prince HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is April 25, 2016 – the day Vision 2030

was announced. The Vision expresses our long-term goals and reflects our country’s

strengths and capabilities. Our leadership’s vision is of a strong, thriving, and stable

Saudi Arabia that provides opportunity for all. The Vision emphasises scaling up

economic diversification, raising the skill level of the Saudi young men and women

and wisely utilizing the Kingdom’s abundant natural resources.

The Saudi Government is exerting continuous efforts at diversifying its economy to

achieve the goals set under Vision 2030. The ambitious $500 billion mega city

project, NEOM, is underway. The 26,500 square kilometres zone will focus on

diverse industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced

manufacturing and entertainment. Additionally, the project of Al-Qiddiya – an

entertainment, sports and cultural destination- a first of its kind has been launched

earlier this year near Riyadh. These diverse cities will be significant in creating new

employment opportunities, and accelerating the growth of the Saudi Arabian

economy.

Our eyes are set on the future. Our New Solar Energy Plan 2030 is the world’s

largest project of its type. By 2019, the Kingdom’s first two solar generation projects

with 3GW and 4.2GW of solar capacity will be commissioned and by 2030, more

than 150 GW solar power will be generated. The Plan will help create up to 100,000

direct and indirect jobs in the Kingdom. Additionally, it will increase the GDP by

$12 billion and save up to $40 billion annually. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has been

strengthening its oil industry, one of the strongest drivers of its growth and has

maintained its position as a key enabler in the global oil economy. In April 2018,

Saudi Aramco and a consortium of three Indian oil companies signed a MoU to

jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in

Ratnagiri, West Coast of India. The project is estimated to cost around $ 44 billion.

 

The Kingdom has also initiated a program of restructuring at all levels of government

institutions. Digital services have been expanded to reduce delays and cut tedious

 

bureaucracy and ensure more efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

Significant steps have been taken to improve the business and investment climate to

promote industrial development, particularly small and medium-size enterprises

(SMEs). According to a recent World Bank report, Saudi Arabia instituted the largest

number of business reforms in the Middle East and North Africa region. In June

2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be included in the MSCI Emerging Markets

Index, the MSCI ACWI Index, and other applicable regional and international

indexes. Multiple regulatory and operational improvements are opening the domestic

market to international investors.

Social development is as crucial as economic development. Led by Vision 2030 and

the associated National Transformation Program, Saudi Arabia has surpassed a

majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was

made possible by integrating SDGs into specific and detailed plans and programs

developed by the government in partnership with the private sector and civil society

organizations.

 

To promote full participation of women, the Kingdom has launched several

initiatives including a national observatory to monitor women’s participation in

economic and social development; including a digital portal for female job seekers.

The royal decree that has allowed women in the Kingdom to drive has further

enabled their participation in the progressive economy. Over 50% of Saudi university

graduates are women. Women have achieved remarkable increase in the Custodian of

the Two Holy Mosques Program for Scholarships Abroad in multiple disciplines.

Today, women scholarship students are enrolled at universities in 57 countries,

accounting for nearly 25% of our students abroad, nearly 150,000 students.

 

The country’s infrastructure is also being developed and upgraded, including

expansion of the railway system and introduction of a new light rail mass transit

project with metro lines and a community bus network in the Kingdom’s major cities

of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Medinah.

With Vision 2030 serving as a blueprint, the Kingdom is working on the strategic

objective of welcoming 30 million pilgrims each year to perform Haj and Umrah.

The third phase of expansion of Grand Mosque launched by King Salman is making

good progress. Expansion of the building itself covers 1.47 million square metres,

including 78 new gates. The various new infrastructure and transportation projects

are beautifully shaping up. In Medina, the new Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz

Airport was inaugurated by King Salman in 2015. The new King Abdul Aziz

International Airport in Jeddah is expected to be fully operational in a few months.

The Haramain Railroad which has been going under testing for the last four months,

will be fully operational later this year. It will shorten the time of the journey

 

between the two holy cities of Makkah and Medina to a couple of hours with the

capacity of 60 million passenger per year.

 

As we focus on the development of our country and bringing about prosperity for our

people, we continue to face the challenges in our region and continue our responsible

role as a peace-loving nation. Political and Economic stability in the Middle East and

around the world is one of Saudi Arabia’s greatest priorities. Peace, stability, non-

interference, good neighbourliness and prosperity of the region will continue to be

our guiding principles. My country will continue its leading role in countering

extremism and terrorism and their supporters.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has maintained its pioneering role in spreading good-

will and compassion beyond its borders by being at the forefront of the international

community in terms of share of gross domestic product (GDP) earmarked for

humanitarian aid. The King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Relief, since its

was established in 2015, has provided humanitarian and development aid worth more

than $ 1.9 billion to more than 37 countries in four continents, implementing more

than 450 projects in areas of food security, housing and shelter, preventative health

care and education.

 

Lastly, I must say that India is one of our most important strategic partners. In all

aspects, our ties have grown and expanded. In the spheres of cultural ties and people

to people connection, earlier this year India was the guest of honour at the Kingdom's

National Heritage Festival, and Saudi Arabia is hosting over 3.2 million Indian

nationals, forming an important pillar of our relationship. Our energy cooperation

and joint investment is set to grow further and our security cooperation is also getting

stronger. The partnership between our two friendly countries will certainly continue

to grow further in the coming years.

 

 

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