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Saudi Crown Prince unveils plan to make Riyadh among top economic cities

Saudi Crown Prince unveils plan to make Riyadh among top economic cities

(Reuters: Ali Jarekji)

Crown Prince Amir Mohammed bin Salman announced comprehensive reform plans to make Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia among the top 10 economic cities in the world, during a conversation with Italy's former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) gathering.

The comprehensive plan will change the face of Riyadh city by establishing new economic zones, financial investments in various sectors, tourism development, environmental protection and urban beautification.

"All of Riyadh's features set the groundwork for job creation, economic growth, investment and many more opportunities,'' said the Crown Prince on Thursday. "We are therefore aiming to make Riyadh one of the 10 largest city economies in the world. Today it stands as the 40th largest city economy worldwide. We also aim to increase its residents from 7.5 million today to around 15-20 million in 2030.''

The idea is to raise the living standards of the city dwellers and to facilitate sustainable development. Riyadh, where 30 per cent of the country's total population lives, will bring in better physical infrastructure housing complexes which can accommodate a population of 20 million. The long-term plans for a greener city involve planting millions of trees in the city to reduce temperatures and dust levels of trees to some extent.

The Crown Prince had earlier announced a five-year plan of public investment fund capitalizing SAR 4 trillion in the Saudi domestic economy. The reforms are expected to boost the quality of all-round development of the national capital, which is advancing with vision 2030.

The FII meet, themed "The Neo-Renaissance", started on Wednesday (27th Jan) and was held at Riyadh. Several prominent speakers including Senator Matteo Renzi, Usain Bolt, Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, CEO of Total Patrick Pouyanne, and UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber were all part of the conference.

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