Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday, its strategy for the 'Riyadh Vision'. The plan was unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and its aim is to make Riyadh among the world's top 10 economic cities in order to drive forward the country’s economic, industrial and tourism growth in the upcoming years.
Mohammed bin Salman was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, a Saudi flagship investment conference, which kicked off on Wednesday under the theme “The New-Renaissance”.
"We will soon launch the Riyadh strategy, given that it constitutes 50 per cent of the Kingdom’s non-oil economy. “Global economies are based on cities, not countries because cities are the main cornerstone of development,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Thursday.
Bin Salman noted that global economies are based on cities, with 85 per cent of the world’s economy coming from cities. Accordingly, the plan aims to improve Riyadh economic ecosystem. Along with Neom - a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia that is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and also function as a tourist destination Riyadh constitutes the other important pillar in the Kingdom's future investment. There are also environmental plans that will be announced later.
“The cost of creating jobs in the capital is 30 per cent less than that’s in other cities in the Kingdom, while the cost of infrastructure and property development is 29 per cent less than others,” Mohammed bin Salman emphasised.
The Future Investment Initiative brought together top global asset managers and high-profile speakers to discuss the global economic outlook. The event attracted more than 10,000 registered attendees with more on social media.
Riyadh currently about 50 percent of the non-oil economy in Saudi Arabia, and enjoys cost advantages over other urban centres. Khalid Al-Falih, the investment minister, said that a raft of business-friendly reforms would be enacted by the middle of this year.