With the intention of strengthening its worldwide influence and diversifying its economy for a “post-oil” period, Saudi Arabia introduced Vision 2030 in 2016. According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as the plan approaches the midway point, it seems that the Kingdom is gradually moving closer to accomplishing its numerous aims.
The main goals of Vision 2030 are to increase public service sectors like health and education, diversify sources of income, and encourage investment, digital transformation, and innovation. In addition, it aims to reduce poverty and raise Saudi Arabia’s standing internationally.
Vision 2030’s Tech-Driven Transformation
Saudi Arabia is performing well in the majority of its 14 economic goals, according to the consulting firm.
Saudi Arabia is expected to achieve many of its Vision 2030 targets, perhaps even ahead of schedule, according to a number of surveys, studies, and official government data.
This development is consistent with remarks made by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman during an interview with Fox News in September. He attested to the fact that Saudi Arabia’s economy grew at the fastest rate among the G20 countries in 2022. He mentioned that the non-oil economy of the Kingdom is expected to develop at the second-fastest rate among G20 countries this year, right after India.
He added that Saudi Arabia’s economy, which is currently the 17th largest in the world, has a chance to re-enter the top seven. He also mentioned the fact that Vision 2030 now has new, even more aggressive goals set.
According to data from the World Bank Group’s GOVTECH Maturity Index for 2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia placed first regionally and third globally. Saudi Arabia was included in the category of “very advanced” countries, which includes nations with exceptionally high performance in the area of e-government, indicating that it has made significant development in all sub-indicators.
No doubt, innovation and technical progress are propelling the world economy of the future. The creation of research facilities and innovation hubs, like KAUST-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology as well as KACST-King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, has aided in the shift to a high-tech economy by promoting innovation and technological advancement across a range of industries.
In Saudi Arabia, for example, digital technologies enabled by 5G are driving the construction of smart cities. Cities are getting smarter, greener, and more focused on the needs of their residents thanks to sensors and networked technologies. Smart grids enhance energy management and conservation, while intelligent transportation systems optimize traffic flow and minimize congestion. Virtual monitoring, telemedicine, and AI-assisted diagnostics are other ways that digital healthcare technologies are transforming patient care.
In addition, the Kingdom wants to diversify its income streams beyond oil through the growth of industries like renewable energy, entertainment, and tourism, all of which boost economic stability and open up new doors for Saudi Arabians.
A McKinsey analysis regarding large-scale projects indicates that Saudi Arabia will likely triple its annual spending on industrial and big projects to over $175 billion starting next year. It is anticipated that in 2026 and 2027, the Kingdom will spend an additional $180 billion yearly on projects. The Gulf Cooperation Council region’s project market is dominated by Saudi Arabia, as evidenced by the HSBC study, where projects in the Kingdom account for almost 56% of all projects in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s vision appears to be making great progress toward its complex goals. According to PwC’s analysis and other surveys, the Kingdom is on track, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s insights into the Kingdom’s solid economic growth reinforce these good trends. Saudi Arabia is not only reaching its economic goals but also projecting itself as a regional leader by focusing on diversifying income sources, investing in human resources, and embracing technological innovation.