The Crown Prince said that the Kingdom will announce a strategy to develop the city of Riyadh and will work to develop strategies for other cities as part of the Kingdom’s plans to diversify sources of income and achieve robust economic growth.
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“All the characteristics that Riyadh possesses, it gives potentials to create jobs, create growth in the economy, create investments and create many opportunities, so we look at Riyadh into consideration,” the Crown Prince said while speaking in a dialogue session titled “The Future of Riyadh,” with Senator Matteo Renzi, former Italian prime minister and member of the Board of Trustees of the Future Investment Initiative Foundation (FIIF), on the second day of the 4th edition of the Future Investment Initiative here on Thursday.
“Therefore, we are aiming to make Riyadh one of the ten largest city economies in the world. Today it stands as the 40th largest city economy worldwide and we also aim to increase its population from 7.5 million residents today to between 15 and 20 million people in 2030,” he said.
The Crown Prince said that Riyadh was uniquely situated for expansion given its advantages in several key areas. “Today Riyadh represents about 50 percent of the non-oil economy in the Kingdom. The cost of job creation in Riyadh is 30 percent less than the other cities in Saudi Arabia. The cost of infrastructure and real estate development is 29 percent less than the other cities in Saudi Arabia,” the Crown Prince said.
“The infrastructure in Riyadh is already quite outstanding because of the work done by King Salman over a period of more than 50 years during which he managed and planned the city to grow form a city of 150,000 residents into a metropolis of 7.5 million people. Therefore, Riyadh is a huge opportunity to create tremendous economic growth in Saudi Arabia, and to develop industry, tourism, and great progress,” he said.
“We also aim to have Riyadh become among the world’s most prominent cities in terms of quality of life, tourism, and services in one way or another,” the Crown Prince said.
“There is no doubt that the world economies are not based on countries but rather on cities: 85 percent of the world economy comes from cities and in the next few years this number will increase to 95 percent,” the Crown Prince said.
“Therefore, true growth begins in the city, whether in terms of industry, innovation, education, services, tourism or other sectors. This is why in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia we must concentrate on the cities that have the potential for growth so they can achieve economic progress and growth in jobs and more services,” the Crown Prince added.
The Crown Prince said the Kingdom plans to establish a Green Riyadh program to plant millions of trees in the city, which will reduce the temperature as well as the level of dust. There are also plans to establish huge reserves around Riyadh to improve the environmental condition of the city, in addition to environmental projects that the Kingdom will announce later.
He said that a second listing of Saudi Aramco shares may occur over the coming years, as part of its plan to transfer funds to the Public Investment Fund, to be re-injected inside and outside the Kingdom for the benefit of Saudi citizens.
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