The activities of the World Economic Forum 2023, in the Swiss city of Davos, witnessed a prominent presence from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through this active participation, the Kingdom shed light on the great progress it has made over the past two years within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, and the national transformation process adopted by the wise government led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and his trustworthy Crown Prince to build an active and diversified economy open to cooperation with the world.
The high-level delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia participating in the activities of the World Economic Forum 2023, which started on January 16 and will continue until January 20, included His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Her Royal Highness Princess Rima bint Bandar Al Saud, Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United States of America, and His Excellency Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Affairs Envoy.
The delegation also included: His Excellency Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, His Excellency Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, His Excellency Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, His Excellency Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning, His Excellency Fahd bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh.
And with the emergence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the fastest-growing economy of the G20 in 2022, with an expected GDP growth of 8.5%, the participating delegation from the Kingdom discussed how the country deals with the challenges posed by the recent economic crises. They also exchanged ideas on solutions that helped preserve strong performance in the region, in addition to facing increasing global pressures.
The Kingdom’s participation in the World Economic Forum 2023
Since the first hours of the start of its activities of the World Economic Forum 2023 in the Swiss city of Davos, the participating delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been keen to highlight the important developments that the Kingdom has witnessed since the launch of the transformation program in 2016 by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. The program aims to build an active and diversified economy open to cooperation with the world, especially in terms of developing the business and economic environment through diversification and cooperation, as well as women’s participation in the labor market and the provision of more job opportunities in various sectors.
The Kingdom’s delegation discussed investing in green technologies, and how empowering women and youth can contribute to effective climate action. The delegation also touched on the future of the mining industry in Saudi Arabia and the untapped opportunities, especially in view of the increasing demand for minerals and the importance of benefiting from the fourth industrial revolution and technologies. green.
The participating delegation continued to list the Kingdom’s achievements, such as the success of Vision 2030 in transforming the economy in a significant way away from dependence on hydrocarbons, and oil as a source of government revenue and as a percentage of GDP.
They also highlighted the Kingdom’s economic model, indicating that it will be the fastest-growing economy in the world this year.
Launching the Markets of Tomorrow accelerators
Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, signed a letter of intent to launch the “Tomorrow Markets” accelerators to contribute to promoting innovation in the Kingdom, during the meeting with Borge Brende, WEF president. This 18-month accelerator will identify the most promising economic markets in the future. This helps Saudi Arabia achieve its goal of becoming a stimulating environment for innovation.
The letter states that King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology will work alongside the World Economic Forum to support modernization initiatives; To enhance a global network of knowledge and exchange experiences, and connect experts and knowledge partners from the public and private sectors to develop new promising markets. This step comes within the framework of efforts to transform the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; By developing non-oil sectors in line with Vision 2030.
The IMF praises the Saudi economy
Kristalina Georgieva, chief of the International Monetary Fund, during the World Economic Forum session in Davos, said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become a bright spot for the global economy, praising the progress it has achieved over the past five years in reforms such as Vision 2030.
Georgieva reviewed the possibility of the Kingdom’s economy facing global challenges, including energy insecurity and supply chain fragmentation, driven by events such as the Russian-Ukrainian war that contributed to rising inflation and food prices around the world.
But despite the global economic turmoil, Georgieva confirmed that she was impressed by the Saudi economy, which the International Monetary Fund said last year that it expects to grow in 2023 among all countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Completion of 20% of the infrastructure of the NEOM project
Nadhmi Al-Nasr; the CEO of “NEOM”, during his speech at the activities of the World Economic Forum 2023, said that about 20% of the project’s infrastructure has been completed, stressing that work is continuing to deliver the infrastructure to the areas ready for construction.
Al-Nasr stated that the NEOM project will be ready in several stages; Because it consists of dozens of projects, it is expected that the first of the projects, which is Sindalah Island, will be opened at the beginning of next year, provided that the openings of the project will continue from 2024.
Ambitions and goals in the energy sector
Khaled Al-Gnoon, CEO of the Saudi Electricity Company, said the company is adopting an ambitious program for renewable energy in conjunction with modernizing the transportation networks to accommodate these energies, in addition to establishing new lines whose investments, by 2030, are estimated at SAR 70 billion only for renewable energy.
Al-Gnoonsaid, during his speech at the Davos Forum, that the volume of Saudi investments amounts to SAR 400-500 billion until 2030 to modernize electricity distribution networks and facilitate all the necessary capabilities, adding that the company’s capital expenditures amount to SAR 64 billion for the year 2023, compared to SAR 45 billion in 2022.
He pointed out that the Saudi Electricity Company launched projects last year, and work on them will continue until 2030. This aims to achieve the vision that includes generating the energy mix by 50% from gas and 50% from renewable energy.
Aramco’s investment in hydrogen
Amin Nasser; The CEO of Saudi Aramco, revealed that the company intends to convert four million barrels per day of crude into petrochemicals by the end of the contract, stressing that the company is looking for investment opportunities in Chinese refineries and factories that convert liquids into chemicals.
Nasser revealed, during his participation in the Davos Forum, that Saudi Aramco is investing billions of dollars in hydrogen, and aims to export blue hydrogen made; By converting natural gas and capturing the carbon dioxide emitted from it on a large scale, starting in 2030.
The World Economic Forum 2023, which was held under the slogan “Cooperation in an Interconnected World”, represents an opportunity to convey the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world in light of the major economic crises, and what it is doing locally and internationally to face all these challenges.