Saudi Arabia Transformation: Uncertainty and Sustainability

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Book Discussion

On February 16, 2021, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) and U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) hosted a webinar conference discussing a new book entitled Saudi Arabia Transformation: Uncertainty and Sustainability, written by Dr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed and Dr. Paul Joyce, and due to be published later this year.

Dr. John Duke Anthony, founding President and CEO of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR), introduced the discussion, and the book’s authors introduced the initial findings of their research in a discussion moderated by Mr. H. Delano Roosevelt, President and CEO of U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC). The event was broadcast live online on YouTube and other social media, and the video is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDy-XdfOV00

The book discussion assessed Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals and objectives, successful programs and initiatives. The participants analyzed and discussed the strengths, opportunities and challenges of Saudi Vision 2030 in support of the implementation of a global strategic long-term vision including the G20 goals and objectives. The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an international forum of governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the EU which assesses policies relevant to international financial stability. Its most recent meeting was due to take place in Riyadh on November 20-21, 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was a virtual one.

The G20 Riyadh summit was mainly focused on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, with which the Saudi Vision 2030 is aligned.

Dr. Al Rasheed highlighted in his presentation that the government of Saudi Arabia has been pioneering the management of long-term visions since 2002. The Saudi leaders are experimenting with how to turn the country’s system of development plans into modern strategic planning. Vision 2030, launched in 2016, is building on these pioneering long-term visions.

Dr. Joyce elaborated on the Saudi government’s approach to improving its strategic planning, its long-term visions and implementation of those visions, strategy in pursuing partnerships, and capability-building efforts.

USSBC President and CEO H. Delano Roosevelt made some final remarks on the USSBC’s role in Saudi development. Mr. Roosevelt stressed the Council’s capability to help any of the attendees if they needed assistance investing in Saudi Arabia or partnering with Saudi companies to take advantage of the business opportunities discussed.

NCUSAR founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony ended the session with remarks on the progress made by Saudi Arabia, noting in particular that the U.S. has more investments in Saudi Arabia than any other country and its companies have the most joint partnerships with Saudi companies.

The program concluded that strategic transformation and economic diversification are achievable through the creation of long-term strategic visions back by the government’s increased ability to implement policies for the benefit of the country in achieving Saudi Vision 2030 goals and objectives.

The program concluded that strategic transformation and economic diversification are achievable through the creation of long-term strategic visions back by the government’s increased ability to implement policies for the benefit of the country in achieving Saudi Vision 2030 goals and objectives. In the face of constraints and challenges like the collapse of oil prices and the current COVID-19 global pandemic, the Kingdom has demonstrated determination to pursue its sustainable and strategic transformation into a diversified economy.

Saudi Arabia’s Transformation: Uncertainty and Sustainability, by Dr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed and Dr. Paul Joyce will be published by Routledge and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under the Center for Middle East Development (CMED).

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