Author

Nader Habibi

Nader Habibi

Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center.


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Implementing Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030: An Interim Balance Sheet

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Nader Habibi
Middle East Brief 127, April 2019

Summary

Launched in April 2016 and closely associated with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Vision 2030 is an ambitious set of economic and social initiatives aimed primarily at transforming the economy of Saudi Arabia. The conventional wisdom among journalists and analysts is that a series of crises and policies – including massive Saudi intervention in the war in Yemen and the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – have hurt Vision 2030 by damaging the Kingdom’s reputation as a stable and hospitable environment for long-term investment. In this Brief, Nader Habibi evaluates progress in the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030 programs. He finds that while there have been successes in public sector reforms and enacting social and cultural changes, many of the economic diversification efforts have stalled because of a lack of foreign investment and partnerships. Habibi argues that paradoxically some of these delays – particularly to the “giga projects” – might be a blessing in disguise for the long-term trajectory of Vision 2030.


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