The new Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, the king's son, Mohammad Bin Salman, may bring in a big change in the country's fortunes. The new heir to the throne is the country's defense minister and he has replaced a nephew of the king, Bin Nayef, who was earlier the heir apparent. Bin Salman, who is to continue as defense minister, brings to the table some dramatic views on getting the Saudi economy back to strength.
Bin Salman's speech at Saudi Vision 2030
An event where several dignitaries were present became the perfect platform for Bin Salman to express his vision for the nation's economy in the coming years. His stance of moving ahead aggressively and going full speed ahead for speedy transformation was very evident. Bin Salman explained how he visualizes Saudi Arabia as the global investment powerhouse which acts as a logistical hub for Europe, Asia and Africa. At the same time, Saudi will also function as the major exporter of gold, uranium and phosphate to these economies. he said. In effect, the oil rich country will transform into a major trading destination.
Significant economic changes already underway
The plan has already been set into motion here and many dramatic changes are taking place here. The country is already cutting down on the subsidies that are in place for essentials like water, oil and electricity. Major changes in Aramco, the Saudi owned oil entity, are also on the books. There are plans to partly privatize the company.
Good understanding of the issues
Bin Salman has a 'good understanding of' his country's challenges, says market analysts specializing in the middle-east countries. The country is in need of a major change in both economic and social aspects and Bin Salman may just have the right strategies in mind to bring that about.
On another front, the crown prince has also indicated that he is all for peace and this is a major plus in his favor given the tensions with respect to countries where the Muslim population is the predominant one. He has clearly outlined his vision for Saudi Arabia as a 'tolerant country' that relies on moderation and not violence.
No reason was put out officially for the replacement of the crown prince but given Bin Salman's vision for Saudi, it appears to be a good move for the oil-rich economy.