Saudi Arabia is not only aware of the impact that sharp decreases in commodity prices cause but it is familiar with it. The Middle Eastern country is considerably distinguished by being the world’s biggest oil-producer according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
It is highly dependent on oil and is considered OPEC’s key player. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2016 Saudi Arabia was the largest exporter of crude oil and petroleum products. Also, the 2007 Annual Statistical Bulletin states that oil is accountable for 50% of the Kingdom’s GDP and approximately 85% of export earnings. Nonetheless, it is conscious of the fact that commodity prices constantly fluctuate and are prone to speculative bubbles, consequently making it too risky for a country to depend on only one commodity.
The Kingdom recognizes that Allah has gifted them with precious lands rich in natural resources such as oil. However, in order to achieve economic sustainability, it considers fundamental to diversify its economy. Just like in 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Saudi Arabia has also outlined the country’s personal 2030 goals in a blueprint called Vision 2030 that is divided into three pillars, the second one being: a thriving economy. As stated by Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs: “diversifying our economy is vital for its sustainability. The Saudi economy has grown by an annual, average rate of more than 4 percent, contributing to the creation of millions of new jobs; although we are already among the 20 largest economies in the world our ambitions are even greater.
” Therefore, in order to achieve this thriving economy one of the first steps the Kingdom has taken is providing an education system that aligns with market needs. As a result, it creates more economic opportunities for its people, unlocking a rather promising quality of life to all economic sectors. Along those lines, Saudi Arabia considers that the real wealth of the country lies in its people. It finds it indispensable that, in order to diversify economy, the country should support innovation and provide facilities to entrepreneurs such as friendlier regulations, access to funding, partnerships, etc. The Kingdom is eager to contribute its experience about diversifying its economy in order to not be highly impacted because of sharp decreases in commodity prices.
It strongly believes that in order to finally grapple dependent economies a solution should be drafted in such a way that countries continue to invest in their economies and in their people. Saudi Arabia persistently remarks that along with a vibrant society comes a thriving economy. Reason why it is of great importance to invest in education not only to have a wiser global citizenry, but because it has been previously proven that countries that have done so have increased their growth rate. The link between overall growth and possibilities for diversification lies in a proper education system. Also, it believes that transparency is crucial for the formation of solid connections and long –term partnerships which are necessary in order to accomplish an inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Only with a thorough resolution that is equipped with a detailed framework will the world finally enjoy economic prosperity.