Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman hailed the determination of young Saudi men and women for embarking confidently on their way to a bright future with active involvement in the Kingdom’s qualitative leaps in all walks of life.
Inaugurating the 4th year of the 7th session of the Shoura Council here on Wednesday, the Monarch laid the road map for domestic and foreign policies of which the key highlights were the initial public offering (IPO) of the oil giant Saudi Aramco, key role in maintaining global oil market stability, opening of the Kingdom’s doors to international tourists, robust economic growth and pivotal role in world economy with initiatives prior to hosting the G20 Summit of 2020, efforts to find a political solution to Yemeni crisis, and containing Iran’s harmful expansionist policies.
Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, also attended the inaugural session chaired by Shoura President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh.
King Salman said the Kingdom’s oil policy aims to promote stability in global oil markets, and serves consumers and producers alike. He also said the Saudi Aramco IPO will allow investors inside and outside the country to take part and will create thousands of jobs.
He said Aramco’s ability to quickly restore oil production capacity after attacks in September proved the Kingdom could meet global demand during any shortage.
The IPO will allow investors to contribute to this leading company, allowing for investments and creating thousands of jobs, he said, adding the Kingdom’s announcement will allow investors to contribute to this leading company in the world and make a qualitative leap in enhancing the size of the Saudi financial market to be in line with advanced international markets, and will enhance transparency and corporate governance in line with international standards.
“The revenues from the sale will be directed to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to target promising investment sectors inside and outside the Kingdom,” he said.
On women empowerment, King Salman said, ”We will continue our efforts in empowering Saudi women and increasing their participation in public and private sectors. The increase in women's participation rate from 19.4% at the end of 2017 to 23.2% at the end of the second half of 2019 is a source of pride for us.”
The opening of the tourism sector, by introducing a tourist regime and starting issuance of tourist visas, emanate to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
He identified this as one of the catalysts of economic growth to attract and diversify investments in this promising sector that provides great job opportunities and a cultural bridge to connect with the world to share our rich heritage and civilizational landmarks.
“We commend our generous Saudi people in dealing with the arrival of tourists and residents, based on our established principles and traditions, which are an approach inherited by generations,” he said.
“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” he said.
The King noted that Kingdom was subject to attacks, in which 286 ballistic missiles and 289 drones were used, but all this did not affect the Kingdom’s development process or the lives of its citizens and expatriates, “thanks to the efficiency of our military and security sectors, who spare no effort to remain vigilant to defend the security of this country. We, here, express our pride of the martyrs on duty and the injured who set the most excellent examples in sacrificing for the faith and the homeland, and we affirm that their families will always be the subject of our care and attention.”
“The sabotage attacks on our oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, in which Iranian weapons were used, showed the level of frustration reached by the Iranian regime, uniting the world in the face of this criminal aggression.
“With the guidance of Allah Almighty and the help of our citizens, we succeeded in restoring the production capacity of these facilities in a record time, proving to the world the ability of the Kingdom to meet oil demand in the event of any shortage, and its leading role in ensuring the security and stability of global energy supplies,” he said.
The King’s speech also highlighted the huge development achieved by the Kingdom over the past decades. “With the help of Allah, the Kingdom continues to achieve further achievements through Vision 2030. To achieve this, the Kingdom has made great efforts in facilitating doing businesses.”
The Monarch noted that the Kingdom has been ranked this year by the World Bank as the most advanced and first reformed country among 190 countries in the world, reflecting the determination of the state with all its authorities and institutions to proceed with the implementation of its reform programs to raise the competitiveness of the Kingdom to upgrade it to the ranks of the ten most stimulating business countries in the world.
“The Kingdom is proceeding with the help of Allah Almighty and the determination of its citizens who are our pride and our precious wealth to achieve unlimited ambitions,” the King said.
According to the King, the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20, starting next month, is another evidence of its pivotal role in the global economy. We hope that the ambitious program, which we have instructed the authorities to prepare during the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20, will contribute to the enhancement of its march to serve the interests of all countries and peoples.
The King lauded the efforts toward finding political settlement to the Yemeni crisis. “As regards Yemen, the Kingdom's efforts were culminated in the signing of Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, hopefully that it will open the door for broader understandings to reach a political solution to the crisis according to the three references and give room to the Yemeni people to foresee a future replete with security, stability, and development.
“We have also the right to be proud of the success our country has achieved in eradicating the manifestations of extremism following successful confrontation and siege against the extremist ideology with all means in a way that enabled moderation concepts to become anew a distinguished feature of the Saudi society. As we look at the good progress of our homeland, we have the right to be proud of the achievements that we have reached.”
“Thanks to Allah Almighty over the determination of our young men and women, as they confidently embark on their way to the future, equipped with their tolerance of Islamic faith, their genuine Arabic tradition, as well as the science and knowledge they have got to continue the march of construction and prosperity,” the King said while thanking the Shoura Council for its commendable work.