Since Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman introduced the ambitious reform plan known as Vision 2030 in 2016, the Kingdom has made strides towards diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil revenues.
“[Vision 2030] expresses our long-term goals and expectations, and it is built upon our country’s unique strengths and capabilities,” said Crown Prince Mohammed, who is also the Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.
The wide-ranging reforms, which include a fiscal balance program, have been supported by decisions that improve the overall quality of life in the Kingdom by benefitting residents and helping to attract foreign and domestic investments. Growth has opened up new jobs for Saudi Arabian citizens in key areas, including through the partial privatization of sectors such as healthcare and housing.
“It guides our aspirations towards a new phase of development – to create a vibrant society in which all citizens can fulfill their dreams, hopes and ambitions to succeed in a thriving economy,” Crown Prince Mohammed said.
Vision 2030 is already having a major impact on business in the Kingdom.
Most recently, Saudi Arabia jumped 30 spots in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 index – the biggest improvement and highest jump worldwide. Reforms under Vision 2030 have led to improved access to credit, strengthened minority investor protections, and facilitated the resolution of insolvency in the Kingdom, according to the World Bank.
“It also made importing and exporting faster by enhancing the electronic trade single window, enabling risk-based inspections, launching an online platform for certification of imported goods, and upgrading infrastructure at Jeddah Port,” the bank added.
These changes are the result of the ongoing economic overhaul, which was also supported in part by the opening of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) – the Arab world’s most liquid market – to foreign institutional investors in June 2015.
Equally important is the establishment of the National Transformation Program (NTP), which also falls under the umbrella of Vision 2030. The NTP is dedicated to reforming spending and engaging stakeholders in identifying challenges and creating solutions for the program’s initiatives.
Yet, the NTP is just one of the many institutional developments under Vision 2030. Here is a timeline to keep track of the progress Saudi Arabia has made so far: