Saudi Deputy Crown Prince gets down to business in the US

Published June 14th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) greets Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman outside Kerry's residence prior to their meeting on June 13, 2016, in Washington, DC. (AFP/Molly Riley)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) greets Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman outside Kerry's residence prior to their meeting on June 13, 2016, in Washington, DC. (AFP/Molly Riley)

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is expected to highlight major investment opportunities for American firms during his visit this week to the United States.

The visit is part of the government’s Vision 2030, which aims to reduce the government’s dependence on oil and ensure income based on investment revenue.

Prince Mohammed chairs the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which spearheads Vision 2030.

A report in the Washington Post on Monday highlighted the ambitious plan, which it described as “nothing short of a top-to-bottom rethink of how the Kingdom takes in money (more investments, new taxes) and how it spends it (fewer subsidies, less government largesse).”

The report stated that Prince Mohammed would be having meetings this week in Washington and New York, and be “pitching an audacious idea: How the Kingdom wants to reinvent its economy and move away from its dependence on oil sales ...”

“The Saudi economic retooling began in April with plans to sell shares in the centerpiece of the Kingdom’s oil economy, the petro-giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co., universally known as Aramco. Then Prince Mohammad sketched out bold proposals to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which could sink money into everything from property to business ventures worldwide,” the report stated.

“At the same time, the rulers want to trim costs. Possible moves include reducing some of the subsidies for Saudi citizens, such as low-cost water and electricity, and imposing more taxes and fees on the Kingdom’s extensive foreign workforce,” the report said.

Saudi Arabia is an important partner of the United States, with the report in the Washington Post stating that the country holds $116.8 billion in United States debt.

 

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