Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Is Going To Fail

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Is Going To Fail

The plan the Saudi’s need, but not the one they deserve.
2486
views

Whether they like it or not, governments across the world are moving away from the comfortable, nurturing tit of oil and into the unknown. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest and most profitable oil producing nation, will soon also enter the void.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has decided to spearhead a lavish policy package called Vision 2030 to move the country away from its reliance and transform it into a competitive 21st century economy.

The plan seeks to reduce dependency on oil, raise productivity levels in non-oil sectors, and generate enough revenue to ease the transition. To do this, Vision 2030 expects to transition Saudi Aramco into the private sector, boost investment into non-oil sectors, and manage to quit eating so rapidly into its foreign reserves.

Three major issues stand in his way and undoubtedly seem to lead Saudi finances into the red.

The first and most obvious concern that the government has is how it will transition and finance its way out of the intricate oil machine it has created. Three things must immediately occur: the government should cut overproduction and allow the natural market price of oil to emerge, the government should give up its strategic attempts to control market share in Asia, and the government should quickly begin the process of establishing a private oil sector.

Now while the Saudi Oil Minister was relieved of his duties last week and rumors of an IPO float at around 5% of Saudi Aramco, nowhere near enough is being done to quickly salvage the country’s self-defeating scheme.

The IMF warned the Saudi government in 2015 that their current deficit spending rate would deplete the country’s foreign reserves (the money it uses for imports) in 5 years. Therefore, it needs to invest in its non-oil sectors to finance the loss in revenue from oil.

The problem with non-oil sectors of the Saudi Arabian economy are that they barely even exist. Only 29% of revenue comes from non-oil sectors, which leaves the country at the bottom of the mountain when it comes to finding a way to generate money quickly without biting into more oil.

Part of the solution contemplated for Vision 2030 is to invest large swaths of money into an emerging sector: religious tourism. Home to some of the most important Islamic cities, Mecca and Medina currently are host to nearly 12 million pilgrims each year. The government has begun development and infrastructure projects to build luxury hotels in Mecca, superhighways, and advanced experience packages for pilgrims not willing to bear the grind of the regular experience- specifically those devout followers blessed with ways and means. However, most of these developments clash with Saudi ideology deeply ingrained in values of Wahhabism.

Therefore, the most important obstacle to Vision 2030 is Saudi culture itself in every aspect of possible implication.

From birth, most Saudi nationals are cradled and reared by the government spoon. Motivation for higher productivity is not immediately apparent and most directly has to do with the lack of proper job training and education that the work force receives. Highly restrictive religious practices also leave out women from the work force and doom nearly half of the population to a domestic life.

These remaining obstacles seem minute and easy to fix, but for people who have created a culture of reliance, this will be the most difficult challenge the government tackles. Religious conformity will have to take place if the country hopes to find any way out of the hole it has dug itself into.

In short, the Saudi Arabian government is left with a distinct opportunity to start over. Rebuilding an entire country will take faith from the people, a tight control over the remaining financial measures it still has to use, and a great deal of vision to make sure it is executed in a way that works well for Saudi pockets.

Yet, Vision 2030 is symbolic of the grandiose nature of Saudi Arabia; hugely impressive but nevertheless built on sand.

The Saudi Arabian government still has to find money and attention to pay for its security concerns on both borders, all of which come at the expense of its allies, while also finding a way to increase its regional power over competing Iranian interests.

Whether it will sink its partners with them or emerge gloriously as a new power is only something time can tell.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Adventures

Popular Right Now

'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

90365
views

It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Microaggressions That I'm Completely Over You Saying

No, you're not being sensitive, that was actually kinda rude.

702
views

I have always noticed little phrases that make me tick a little bit. You know, the ones that make you tilt your head a bit and think "Did they really mean that, like I think they meant that?" but then you just brush it off. However, the other day I was having a conversation with my best guy friend. He was explaining to me a funny story involving his older brother and at one point I said "I relate" to which he responded, "it's different for girls."

Wait, what?

Here are some subtle, everyday micro-aggressions that are getting a little old:

1. "You don't get it, it's different for boys."

Honestly, you're right. It is different, and that's why this comment bothers me, because it shouldn't be different for guys. We should be held to the same exact standards and experiences.

2. "Is it like... that time of the month?"

What if it is? That shouldn't be any of your concern. You mean to tell me you wouldn't be a happy-go-lucky ray of sunshine if it felt like there were jackknives playing hopscotch in your uterus? That's what I thought.

3. "Don't be such a girl."

That's exactly what I'm going to be. Partially because I am a girl, and partially because whatever it is you're trying to force me to do, I genuinely don't want to do. Leave me alone.

4. "Lol am I totally being friend zoned right now?"

Hahahahaha... yes. Just because you're a boy, I'm a girl and we have struck up a conversation does not mean there are butterflies going crazy in my stomach, nor will I reconsider my "friendship" status simply because you have verbally stated it. Sorry, not sorry.

5. "Are you sure you want to wear that?"

Oh, this? You mean the article of clothing I purposely picked out of my closet and have put on my body and not taken off? No, I'm actually not sure if I want to wear it yet. I'll let you know at the end of the night.

6. "Why don't you smile more? You're cuter when you smile."

And you're cuter when your mouth is shut and you're not telling me what to do. Also, I always look cute.

7. "You're being dramatic, it's not that deep."

Fun fact: It's actually as deep as I want it to be. Everything you say is up for my interpretation. I don't know how you're thinking or how you want me to process what you're saying... so if I think it's that deep, it's that deep.

8. "Well, you do this better than I do anyway."

First of all, you're most likely not even trying. Second, I don't know what I'm doing half the time and I asked you to do it for a reason. So, just do it.

9. "How could you possibly not want children?"

By not wanting them. See? That was easy to understand.

10. "There's no way you guys are 'just friends'."

There actually is a way. By being friends. The same way you're just friends with your bros and with that girl in your math class that sends you the notes. Friendship is very much possible.

* * *

To be completely honest, I've said some of these phrases. Some of them even to men. Every day I try to stop myself, even if it's mid-conversation, from saying phrases like such because every little step is another one towards a society that doesn't need to demean one gender in order to be "funny" or "relatable."

I don't expect there to be a magical day in the future where none of these phrases are spoken, but the less they're heard, the better.

Related Content

Facebook Comments