Conveying his gratitude to King Salman for special care and great support he is providing to the Kingdom's Vision 2030; Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA); confirmed that the Vision 2030 programs made great strides and addressed structural challenges within only five years.
The Crown Prince also expressed his appreciation for the all governmental authorities efforts in overcoming many challenges in recent months; praising the invaluable experiences gained which enhanced confidence in achieving the objectives of the Vision.
He also confirmed that much more remains to be done on various fronts to achieve Vision 2030's goals.
The CEDA has reviewed the achievements of the Kingdom's Vision after five years of its inception. The Vision focused over the past five years on establishing an empowering infrastructure; building the institutional and legislative structures, establishing general policies, and supporting initiatives.
The next phase of the vision will focus on the continuation of implementation; ensuring greater participation by citizens and the private sector.
The review covered the Vision's three major themes as follows:
The Council reviewed achievements aimed at raising the quality of life within the framework of an attractive and distinctive environment. This is in order to make the Kingdom a leading global destination. This included facilitating access to emergency health services within 4 hours; at the rate of more than 87%, compared to 36% before the inauguration of the Vision; reducing the percentage of traffic accident fatalities annually to 13.5 deaths per 100,000 after it was 28.8; and increasing the percentage of people who participate in sports activities at least once a week to 19% in 2020; compared to 13% before the launch of the Vision.
The Council also reviewed the most notable achievements in the housing sector; as the percentage of home ownership increased to 60%, compared to 47% five years ago. In addition, obtaining housing assistance is now immediate; whereas it previously took up to 15 years before the launch of the Vision.
The Council noted indicators related to the growing interest in archaeological and heritage sites; which had a direct impact on registering new Saudi sites in the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The number of heritage sites that can be visited in the Kingdom in 2020 has risen to 354 sites; compared to 241 sites in 2017.
The Council also reviewed achievements related to the preservation, sustainability and protection of the environment; including the establishment of seven Royal natural reserves in 2018 and 2019. This is in order to preserve various plant and animal species, to be a contemporary genealogical reservoir. As well as achieving global milestones in the production of desalinated water.
In addition to announcing mega projects to preserve the environment during the same period; the recently announced Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green initiative will aim to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, and preserve marine life.
The Council reviewed initiatives aimed at establishing an environment that supports business potential and broadens the economic base. It also noted that the assets of the Public Investment Fund have doubled to reach approximately SR1.5 trillion in 2020, after not exceeding SR570 billion riyals in 2015. It should be noted that the rate of international foreign investment flows has decreased by 58% since 2015, whereas foreign direct investment inflows in Saudi Arabia increased to reach SR17.625 billion, an increase of 331%, given it was SR5.321 billion before the launch of the Vision 2030. These initiatives also included launching major projects that contribute to the welfare of society, provide jobs and attract international investments, the most important of which are: NEOM, Qiddiya, Red Sea projects, and others.
The Council reviewed the performance of the National Debt Management Center; as the center has managed during the past five years since its establishment to support the general budget of the Kingdom by approximately SR897 billion.
The Saudi petroleum industry also witnessed the approval of the development of the Jafurah gas field; the discovery of five new oil and gas fields; and the continued integration of the petroleum and petrochemical sectors.
The Council reviewed the contributions of the Vision programs in creating an environment conducive to developing skills and continuing to invest in education and training, as the number of universities and colleges reached 63, while the published scientific research reached 33,588 compared to 15,056 in previous years, an increase of 223 %. The enrolment rate in kindergartens has also increased, to 23%, compared to 13%.
The Council reviewed the achievements in the field of localizing military industries; as the Kingdom's Vision 2030 programs were able to increase the rate of localization in the sector to reach 8% by the end of 2020, compared to 2% in 2016. Also, for the first time in the history of the Kingdom; a program of licenses to engage in military industries activities was launched, whereby 91 local and international companies were licensed, with 142 foundation licenses.
Within the framework of improving regulations and services, and expanding communication channels between government agencies, and citizens and the private sector, the Council reviewed the achievements of the initiatives that made major transformations in the effectiveness of government work, including the issuance of more than 197 legislations in various fields, including laws, regulations, bylaws and organizational arrangements.
The maturity rate of digital government services increased to 81.3% compared to 60% in 2017, which contributed significantly to the improvement of services being provided for citizens and residents of the Kingdom.
In addition, the platform of "Joud" for housing was launched to involve the community in providing a helping hand for charitable giving housing through a reliable platform and in cooperation with 121 charitable societies. This platform has contributed to supporting more than 23,000 with society's contributions exceeding SR400 million through two tracks: the provision of housing and the support of citizens who are defaulting on payment for housing rental.
The Council took several recommendations necessary to move to the next stage of the process of realizing the Kingdom's Vision 2030; launched at the beginning of this year 2021, and continues until 2025, which is the phase of advancing achievement and maintaining the momentum required to continue the reforms.
This includes making development updates on the vision realization programs to ensure its consistency with the targets, increase the efficiency of spending and respond to economic developments, through three basic areas:
First: Restructuring some of the current programs and creating others that are in line with the requirements of the next phase, such as establishing a health sector transformation program that aims to restructure the health sector to be a comprehensive health system to realize the vision aspirations.
Second: Giving flexibility to the implementation schedules of some programs; setting priorities for implementing initiatives, and enabling changes in legislative policies.
Third: Transferring the initiatives of: "promotion of national character"; "leading national companies" and "strategic partnerships" to the relevant entities and under their programs. This comes after these initiatives have achieved most of their goals in the first five years of the Vision; absence of the need to preserve its independence in the next phase.
The next phase of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 is to be marked by the continued development of promising and new sectors. The acceleration of achievement in implementing the vision realization programs will contribute to promoting economic growth and supporting local content; increase its contribution to the economic development in the Kingdom; facilitate the business environment. In addition to further strengthening the role of citizens and the private sector in achieving the vision; through more empowerment to employ capabilities and invest the potentials to achieve more success and progress.