Mohamad Bin Salman speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Image Credit: Screen Grab

Dubai: Saudi Arabia announced plans to launch the Riyadh Strategy, which aims to make Riyadh among the top 10 economic cities in the world so as to drive forward the country’s economic, industrial and tourism growth in the upcoming years.

"We will soon launch the Riyadh strategy, given that it constitutes 50 per cent of the Kingdom’s non-oil economy. “Global economies are based on cities, not countries because cities are the main cornerstone of development,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Thursday.

“The Riyadh strategy is an ambitious that will be a positive surprise to Saudis and the entire world. Riyadh is among the world’s top 10 cities in terms of sophisticated infrastructure,” Mohammed bin Salman said.

He noted that global economies are based on cities, with 85 per cent of the world’s economy comes from cities. In the coming years, this figure will rise to 95 per cent. “We have plans to construct mega reserves around Riyadh to improve the city’s ecosystem, in addition to environmental projects across the country.”

He highlighted the importance of Riyadh in the Kingdom’s future investment. “The cost of creating jobs in the capital is 30 per cent less than that’s in other cities in the Kingdom, while the cost of infrastructure and property development is 29 per cent less than others,” Mohammed bin Salman emphasised.

“We focus on population growth in two major cities: Riyadh and Neom. In the rest regions, we focus on upgrading services, improving quality of life and making the best use of tourist opportunities and natural resources,” the Crown Prince said.

He added: “We offer more Aramco’s shares for public offering to support the Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund.

Mohammed bin Salman was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, a Saudi flagship investment conference, which kicked on Wednesday under the theme “The New-Renaissance”.

The event brought together top global asset managers and high-profile speakers to discuss the global economic outlook.