Saudi Arabia is investing more than SR 200 billion ($53.2 billion) in various development projects in a bid to boost infrastructure for vital sectors such as transport, water and energy, said King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, while delivering the annual Royal speech on the work of the third year of the eighth session of the Shura Council.
King Salman said in addition to this, the kingdom will be spending another SR 500 billion ($133.34 billion) towards development of airports, sea ports, rail and other infrastructure over the next 10 years, in a bid to make the kingdom a global transportation and logistics hub.
"Saudi Arabia is witnessing a comprehensive and sustainable development movement and it is proceeding in the second phase of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, aiming to develop promising and new sectors in addition to supporting local content, facilitating the business environment, empowering citizens and engaging the private sector in these vital development projects," said King Salman.
"This comes as part of the kingdom's strategy to boost the effectiveness of implementation to achieve more success and progress, and meet the aspirations and ambitions of our people," he added.
In this regard, the Saudi King highlighted the National Development Fund, which was set up last year, mainly to stimulate the private sector’s contribution by more than three times the development impact and contributing to the growth of the GDP by pumping more than SR 570 billion and trebling the share of non-oil GDP to SR 605 billion in addition to providing job opportunities in the kingdom as part of the fund’s strategy by 2030.
On the ongoing futuristic 'green' projects, King Salamn said: "These unique projects that are being realized in our country come in light of the development of our economic and cultural foundations, and as HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Crown Prince, has announced that our projects are of a Saudi nature, such as (Al-Ula Development Project, Diriyah Gate Project, Qiddiya Project, Amaala Project, Neom City, the Red Sea Project, The Line project, and downtown projects for a number of cities), in addition to the cultural and entertainment cities, which are un-repetitive creative projects."
"These key developments create a historical, cultural, social imprint, and provide a variety of options in accordance with the vision’s objectives, economically, culturally and socially, and contribute to the promotion and protection of the history of the Saudi cultural heritage, to be reflected in the quality of life of the citizen," he added.
King Salman said the development approach in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to make a comprehensive and sustainable renaissance, whose centre and goal is the human being who will manage the development of the present, and make the development of the future with knowledge, as many legislations and amendments to laws and regulations have been issued.
"Saudi Arabia has provided the capabilities that enhance the dignity of the citizen and work to achieve the maximum benefits for him, preserve his life and maintain a decent livelihood for him, create protection and social care, and support systems for development and social stability for him," he stated.
In his address, King Salman also highlighted the kingdom's recent initiatives including the National Investment Strategy, the launch of the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank to promote growth and bridge the financing gap, the National Water Strategy - allocating funds worth SR105 billion for water projects, environment and agriculture system in addition to the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics, and the National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Saudi Arabia, he stated, was striving to ensure the immunity of the three pillars of the energy world: securing necessary energy supplies, continuous economic development by providing reliable energy sources and facing climate change.
On the tourism front, King Salman said the infrastructure works and the general plan of "Rou'a Al Madina" project were launched in the area east of the Prophet’s Mosque, in line with plans to boost the kingdom's capacity to host 30 million Umrah pilgrims by 2030.
"Work is underway to complete the third Saudi expansion at the Grand Mosque, in addition to many projects which aim to raise the level of services provided to the pilgrims. We will take every effort possible in order to continue providing comfort and facilitation for visitors to the two holy mosques in accordance with the highest international standards," he added.