The national economy is now on the threshold of a new phase of its history and that is characterized by extraordinary rebound and harvest created by Vision 2030 over the past two years. After the establishment of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate in 2017, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman launched Al-Ula Vision to transform it into a global destination, expand proper job opportunities for the people of the region, contribute SR 120 million to the GDP and provide 38,000 jobs by 2035.
Afterwards, the King Abdullah Port was launched in the Economic City of Rabigh on the Red Sea coast with a capacity of three million standard containers, receiving 1.5 million vehicles and 15 million tons of bulk cargo each year, thus becoming a major hub for Eastern and Western freight routes between Europe and Asia.
One day after another, this vision proves to be the only way to recover the Saudi economy and to strengthen its pillars with different ideas and a different style that preserve the Kingdom's status and its achievements on the ground.
These facts are confirmed by the international financial institutions that agreed that there are promising signs of the progress of the national economy. They also expected more growth and prosperity in a number of economic sectors, which have been focused and delivered great care by the vision.
A few days ago, the Oxford Economics report covered in detail the general national economy scene. It commended the radical transformations of Vision 2030 and suggested a big boom that would boost the economic sectors, topped by sectors of tourism, entertainment, energy and real estate. It attributed all this to the satisfactory increase in the oil revenues on one hand and the progress made in the implementation of economic and social reforms on the other hand.
This has helped jump-start the Saudi economy during 2018, when the GDP's growth rate rose to 2.4% after it was 0.9% in 2017. Additionally, inflation rates in the Kingdom remained relatively stable at an average annual rate of 3% after a significant increase at the beginning of this year against the backdrop of the increase in government subsidies and the imposition of the added value by 5%.
In the national economy growth process, we expect a pivotal and important role to be played by the private sector in advancing this process. These projections have been supported by the international institution's report when it nominated the national private sector to lead the action in the real estate and contracting sectors and the entertainment, tourist and industrial sectors that have started to attract national and foreign capital, in the form of mega projects announced by Vision 2030, and called on local and foreign companies to seize the investment opportunities in them.
Overall, it is possible to emphasize the strength of the national economy and its ability to ensure the normal well-being of the citizen. The next stage will see more results of the vision which continues its journey armed with the determination of leaders and their insistence to achieve broader development.