LONDON: Saudi Arabia has been able to achieve unprecedented achievements in a short period of time, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as saying on Thursday.
In a speech addressing the Shoura Council, the crown prince said that the Kingdom has achieved exponential growth in the past three years and expressed optimism that growth will accelerate after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
The prince said the Kingdom is one of the best 10 countries globally in terms of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, despite all challenges.
He added that the Kingdom is keen to address unemployment and that increasing employment rates is a priority.
Prince Mohammed said that although corruption had been rife in the Kingdom and previously spread like “cancer,” the anti-corruption campaign has been very successful and settlements amount to SR 247 billion riyals within 3 years.
The prince said the government has undertaken extensive restructuring to boost non-oil revenues and is working hard to double the size of and diversify the economy.
The Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will inject 150 billion riyals annually ($40 billion) in the economy in 2021 and 2022, the prince said.
The fund managed to create higher return of investments at a minimum of 7%, from 2% since its establishment, with some investments exceeding 70% and others making a return of more than 140%, he added.
The prince added that liquidity for the PIF will be created through recycling its investments and creating a local economic cycle that allows for the emergence of new sectors that provide new avenues.
He continued by saying that the PIF has created more than 190,000 jobs over the past four years.
He continued by saying that assets, including real estate and stocks worth tens of billions of riyals, have been transferred to the finance ministry and will reflect on revenues once liquidated.
Saudi Arabia has one of the largest and most important economies in the world and the government has reformed the labor market to attract value-added employees, the prince added.
Speaking a day after a cemetery was attacked in Jeddah and after the Saudi embassy in the Netherlands, the prince warned the kingdom would continue to strike with an “iron fist” those who threatened its security and stability.