Saudi Arabia’s oil revenues alone were becoming insufficient to cover the needs of the Kingdom’s growing population, a fact that was the driving force behind the announcement of the country’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
The Crown Prince was speaking during an interview that was nationally broadcast to the Kingdom late Tuesday night on the five year anniversary of the launch of Vision 2030.
‘We went from a population of two to three million, to nearly 20 million Saudis since the discovery of oil. So, oil revenues now barely cover the needs and the way of life that we have grown accustomed to since the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. So, if we continued on the same old path, there is no doubt that with the population growth, it would affect us in the next 20 or 10 years on the quality of life that we’ve grown used to for the past 50 years’, Prince Mohammed bin Salman Said.
The Crown Prince appeared on the Liwan Al Mudaifer Sow discussed developments of the Vision 2030 plan. It is the fifth anniversary of the plan, which aims to transform the Kingdom and prepare it for a post – hydrocarbon age.
He also spoke on plans to eventually reduce the percentage of valued – added tax (VAT) in Saudi Arabia, calling the decision to enact the rate hike a painful one that he personally had to undertake.
‘This step was painful for me personally as I do now want to affect or harm the Saudi citizen in any way shape or form by my main job is to guarantee and build the citizens’ future in the long term, for the next 20 – 30 years’, Prince Mohammed said.
The Kingdom tripled its VAT rate on July 1 last year, as authorities responded to the unprecedented economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.