Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Thursday that the Kingdom has been able to make unprecedented achievements in a short period of time.
He expressed optimism that growth will accelerate after the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
In a speech carried by Saudi State News Agency (SPA), the Crown Prince said that 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.
Local investments made by PIF reached 58 billion riyals in 2019 and it aims to invest 96 billion riyals locally in 2020. It managed over the past few years to create 190,000 jobs, he said.
He added that the fund managed to create higher returns 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% adding that it become one of the ‘key growth drivers for the Saudi economy’.
PIF managed to double its assets to over 1.3 trillion riyals ($347 billion) and is on track to achieve a target of 7 trillion riyal worth of assets by 2030, he said.
‘Economic diversification is key to the Kingdom’s sustainability, and we are working hard to achieve this through PIF investments in tourism, sports, industry, agriculture, transportation, mining, space and other sectors’, he stated.
Prince Mohammed said he was optimistic Saudi Arabia would record one of the largest non – oil GDP growth rates in the next year after the pandemic recedes.
According to him, despite the COVID-19 induced spike in unemployment levels,, the government remains on track to reduce unemployment to 7% by 2030.
The Crown Prince also said the Kingdom would continue to strike with an ‘iron fist’ those who threatened its security.
‘We will continue to hit with an iron fist against anyone who thinks of threatening our security and stability’, he was quoted as saying.
Prince Mohammed said Saudi Arabia is committed to confronting extremism, and rejects and condemns all terrorist acts.
He said actual terror attacks in the Kingdom had ‘fallen to near zero’ following a restructuring of the interior ministry and reforming of the security sector that began in mid-2017.
The Kingdom would continue to take ‘strong and painful’ action against corruption, he stated.
The authorities had recovered 247 billion riyals ($65.86 billion) in addition to assets worth of billions of riyals, including real estate and stocks, that have been transferred to the finance ministry and would be reflected in revenues once liquidated, he added.