Believe in Ideas: Dream for Big

by shariff mohammed | Dec 04, 2016

How do you see the vision 2030 and to what extent it can motivate the young entrepreneurs of Saudi Arabia?

Big and broad visions produce big change. If we look at the global experiences, it shows us that large and complex success stories began with such visions. The experience of Singapore, for example, began with the vision of its leader who transformed a small island into a highly successful economy as well as a global commercial center. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is a comprehensive one which seeks to transform the entire state into a new country that ranks high among the developed nations. It is unfair to reduce Vision 2030 only to its economic side. The vision also address social, humanitarian, developmental, military, and performance aspects.

I think there are critical aspects of this vision that have yet to gain full attention. Social values, as the vision states that it will be based on moderation, tolerance, perfection, discipline, justice, and transparency, and our focus will be on achieving growth of these values and areas. These are important elements for the next stage as the vision seeks to achieve a productive society rather than a consuming one. The principles of tolerance and moderation are a cure for many social phenomena that arise from those whose aim is to spread extremism and radicalization.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the architect of Vision 2030, has revealed his expectations for the future of Saudi Arabia in several press interviews with the international media. These expectations and aspirations carry high hopes for future Saudi generations. On a personal level, I agree with most of what he proposed, but I disagree with him on the subject of women driving. That it is a social issue which the Saudi society must deal with. I believe that the time has come and is ripe for that issue to be resolved.

The vision focuses on transparency and good governance, and eliminating leniency or tolerance for corruption at any level. This is critical to defeating corruption and is being increasingly demanded by the public. The fact that the vision speaks directly about this is the first step to fighting it. As we know, recognition of a problem’s existence is half the solution. The vision also speaks of detailed reviews of all government structures and procedures so as to ensure clear separation between the decision-making process, the implementation, and the monitoring of such implementation and performance. This is very important as it guarantees transparency in monitoring performance and achieving results.

There is the oft-repeated problem of stalled projects — not only construction projects but also administrative ones. This has been discussed widely in both the print and social media. It is evident that the vision recognizes this, and so it includes establishing an office for the administration of projects at the Council of Economic and Developmental Affairs. That will be an office to oversee project completion and, perhaps where needed, rapid intervention. This innovative approach guarantees the adoption of scientific principles in project administration.

How do you see the present crisis of contracting sector?

The contracting and construction sectors are more vulnerable to the crisis. Always it will be the first to get affected and last to recover. We have seen the peak in the past three years including current year, however, in the second quarter it started showing the dip. Huge public projects and social development projects injected massive cash flow into this sector. Decline in oil prices have dropped the projects and it started affecting  the construction sector. However, the liquidity remained strong in the Kingdom, that was the beauty of doing business in the Kingdom. All other GCC countries have been reeling in bad situation. Saudi Arabia is stable despite some kickbacks. The Kingdom has young population and it is growing at faster rate. So growing population require housing. More schools and universities are required to meet the social demand.

What is your message to the young entrepreneurs of the Kingdom?

Personally, I feel glad to see Saudi young graduates getting into actual job markets, now they are capable of competing with the standards. The saudiazation program is one of the successful idea and this has opened new avenues of jobs for Saudi youths. Now they are able to see lots of opportunities after the NITAQAT program is implemented. Of course they need training, and we are also committed to give them training to empower them. Though we may face some challenges in the beginning, proper training would give you good results. We have experienced that in our company, we gave them good training and now they are competent employees of the company. There are lots of areas where little training would give you better results. Different government and private agencies should concentrate on more training, so that our young generation can be prepared for the modern market demands.

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