Saudi Arabia is on a mission to transform itself. In just 10 years, the kingdom aims to become a diversified, sustainable economy and a more inclusive society. This ambitious plan, known as Vision 2030, is already making significant progress.
Vision 2030 was mainly developed by the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The goal is to “harness the strengths God has given us” by improving its positions related to investments and strategies in the Islamic world.
The goals are several, and each will be met through specific strategies that aim to improve the economy in the long term. Here, we will offer a general overview of what this ambitious program provides, focusing on the economic perspective.
Vision 2030 in brief
Vision 2030 is based upon 3 main pillars: a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.
To create a vibrant and happy society, the Council has to do 7 big steps, which are:
- Double the number of Saudi cultural heritage sites recognized by UNESCO;
- Increase accommodation capacity to host Umra pilgrims and grow from the current 8 million to 30 million each year;
- Increase household spending on cultural and entertainment activities in the Kingdom from the current level of 2.9% to 6%;
- Raise the percentage of people who work out at least once a week, from 13% to 40%;
- Achieve the recognition of three Saudi cities among the best 100 cities in the world;
- Raise Saudi Arabia’s ranking from 26th to 10th in the Social Capital Index;
- Increase average life expectancy from 74 to 80 years.
The nation will be committed to ensure extremely high standards. Thus, it will need to be able to manage finances efficiently, with utmost transparency and the best tracking services. In order to do so, Saudi Arabia will:
- Increase the private sector contribution, from 40% to 65% of GDP;
- Move up from the current 25th position to the top 10 countries in the Global Competitiveness index;
- Increase foreign direct investment from 3.8% to 5.7% of GDP;
- Move from the current 19th position to the top 15 strongest economies in the world;
- Increase resources of Public Investment Fund, from 600 billion to over 7 trillion SAR;
- Increase the localization of oil and petrochemical industry from 40% to 75%;
- Increase female participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%;
- Lower unemployment rate from 11.6% to 7%;
- Increase the SMEs’ contribution to GDP from 20% to 35%;
- Increase non-oil exports’ share of GDP from 16% to 50%;
- Scale the Logistics Performance Index from the current 49th to 25th place
One of the key pillars of Vision 2030 is to create a thriving economy. To do this, Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy away from oil and attracting foreign investment.
In 2023, the Saudi non-oil economy grew by 2.5%, the fastest rate of growth in the non-oil sector in several years. This growth was driven by strong performance in the tourism, retail, and construction sectors.
The kingdom has also made progress in attracting foreign investment. In 2023, Saudi Arabia attracted $100 billion in foreign investment, the highest level in over a decade.
Another key pillar of Vision 2030 is to create an ambitious nation. To do this, Saudi Arabia is reforming its economy and investing in education and human capital.
In 2023, the Saudi government launched a new program to train one million Saudis in digital skills by 2030. The program is part of the kingdom’s efforts to prepare its workforce for the jobs of the future.
The kingdom has also made progress in reforming its economy. In 2023, Saudi Arabia launched a new investment law that offers tax breaks and other incentives to foreign investors. The law is designed to attract more foreign investment to the kingdom and help to diversify the economy.
Saudi Arabia is well on track to achieve its ambitious goals for the future. The kingdom is committed to transforming its economy and society, and it is already making significant progress.