Saudi Arabia bids farewell to 2021, with achievements and successes at various development and external levels, while it hopes to start at the same speed next year.
Achievements and successes, under the directives of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, consolidate the prestigious international position of the Kingdom, enhance the weight and importance of its vision, and predict the continued growth of its role during 2022, and reap the fruits of more of these achievements during the coming period.
On the economic front, Saudi Arabia launched major billion-dollar projects on the way to achieving Vision 2030, most notably the inauguration of the cities of “The Line” at the beginning of the year, and “Oxagon”, weeks before the end of the year, in addition to achieving development leaps on more than one level.
Between this and that, the Kingdom launched the Prince Mohammed bin Salman City project, which will be the first non-profit city in the world, to enable young Saudi talents to shape the future of the Kingdom and the world.
Politically, Saudi Arabia hosted two Gulf summits at the beginning and end of the year, and it strengthened its relations with its brothers in the GCC through pioneering initiatives and efforts.
In terms of environmental protection efforts, the Kingdom has launched several qualitative initiatives to coordinate international efforts to protect the environment and confront climate change, most notably the “Green Middle East Initiative” summit.
Saudi Arabia also continued to strengthen its relations with brothers and friends around the world and to strengthen its strategic partnerships.
In the following report, entrepreneurship monitors the most prominent Saudi achievements in various fields during 2021:
Strengthening Gulf Solidarity
On the foreign policy front, Saudi Arabia continued its efforts to strengthen Gulf solidarity and serve the issues of the Arab and Islamic nations.
At the beginning of the year, it hosted the 41st Gulf Summit, which was held in Al-Ula Governorate, northwest of the Kingdom, on January 5, during which the page of the dispute with Qatar was turned.
At the end of 2021, the 42nd Gulf Summit was hosted in Riyadh on December 14, and a final statement was issued, and a declaration bearing the name “Riyadh Declaration” drew a comprehensive road map to achieve integration and unify the ranks of the GCC states.
Before the last summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud toured the Gulf states on a tour that led him to the Sultanate of Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait, respectively, from 6 to 10 December.
The headquarters of the unified military command of the GCC states was opened in Riyadh on November 22, to enhance defense integration and joint collective security among the GCC states.
In terms of efforts to strengthen Gulf solidarity, Saudi Arabia has expanded the establishment of coordination councils to develop cooperation with its brothers in the Gulf states.
And in June, the first session of the Kuwaiti-Saudi Coordination Council was held, and Saudi Arabia and Oman, during the historic visit of Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq to the kingdom on July 11, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a coordination council between the two countries.
In a statement issued after the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit, the UAE and Saudi Arabia also praised the distinguished level of cooperation between them in the political, security, military, economic, and development fields, and the cooperation and integration achieved under the umbrella of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council.
The two countries affirmed their determination to strengthen and develop the council’s role in the next phase in all fields.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE .. 5 summits
The UAE and Saudi Arabia continued to strengthen their strong relations, by developing the strategic partnership and supporting the brotherly relations that bind them.
Throughout 2021, 5 summits were held that brought together the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including 3 between Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in December and July. July and May, to exchange visions, coordinate efforts, and strengthen the strategic partnership between them.
During those summits, a great consensus emerged between the two countries regarding Arab, Gulf, regional and international issues. The two countries are working to strengthen joint Arab action, preserve the progress of the Gulf Cooperation Council, combat terrorism, and enhance security and stability in the region and the world.
There was also a great consensus between the two countries in the visions of facing the challenges of climate change, and cooperation to combat the “Corona” pandemic and its repercussions.
The Yemeni file… Initiatives and victories
As part of its support for resolving the crisis in Yemen, last March, Saudi Arabia announced a peace initiative in Yemen that included a comprehensive ceasefire, easing restrictions on fuel shipments to the port of Hodeidah, opening Sanaa airport under the supervision of the Arab coalition and the United Nations, and resuming the political process.
Saudi Arabia also continued its efforts to implement the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement signed on November 5, 2019, between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, to mobilize the efforts of Yemenis supporting legitimacy and unifying their ranks against the Houthi militia, with a focus also on supporting security and stability in the liberated areas.
In the field of relief and development, the Kingdom continued its efforts to provide development, humanitarian, and relief assistance to the people of Yemen at various levels.
The Iranian-backed Houthi militia responded to these initiatives by continuing hostilities and terrorist operations by launching ballistic missiles and booby-trapped drones.
However, the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces succeeded in intercepting and responding to these missiles and aircraft, which amounted to more than 423 missiles, 834 booby-trapped drones, and 98 booby-trapped boats until the middle of this month.
Saudi Arabia’s cross-border diplomacy
In the Arab world, this year witnessed accelerated Saudi efforts at various levels on the path to returning Baghdad to its Arab incubator, whose features appeared in the important discussions, continuous meetings, and mutual visits between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia also continued to maintain its strategic partnership with its partners in the world; Such as the United States, France, and Britain, and made new partnerships with countries such as Russia, India, and China, and the Kingdom continued to confront Iran’s interference in the region.
As part of efforts to combat climate change, Saudi Arabia led pioneering efforts to form the first coalition to combat climate change in the Middle East.
On October 25, Riyadh hosted the “Green Middle East Initiative” summit, with the participation of prominent international and regional leaders, to reach a consensus on measures to meet common environmental commitments and to start a new phase of climate diplomacy and international cooperation, to promote climate action on a large scale. Broad and fast.
The “Green Middle East Initiative” includes the largest reforestation program in the world and includes planting 50 billion trees in the Middle East, restoring an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land, which represents 5% of the global goal.
This achieves a 5.2% reduction in global carbon levels, in addition to a 60% reduction in carbon emissions resulting from oil production in the region.
The “Green Middle East Initiative” summit was among three events held by the Kingdom during the period from 23 to 25 October, the “Green Saudi Initiative” forum and the “Green Youth Summit”.
In his speech at the Green Saudi Initiative forum, the Saudi Crown Prince announced the launch of the first package of qualitative initiatives in the Kingdom to be a roadmap for protecting the environment and facing the challenges of climate change, including investments worth more than (700) billion riyals.
Vision 2030.. billion projects
Internally, after the success of Saudi Vision 2030 in achieving exceptional achievements during the first five years of its launch, it launched at the beginning of this year 2021 the next phase of the vision’s realization process, which will continue for another five years until 2025, and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs described it as a stage of advancing the wheel Achieve and maintain the momentum required to continue reforms.
As part of that stage, on October 11, Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the National Investment Strategy, which is one of the main enablers to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The national investment strategy will contribute to the growth of the national economy and diversify its sources, which will achieve many of the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, including raising the private sector’s contribution to the GDP to 65%, and promoting foreign direct investment to reach 5.7% o
f GDP, Increasing the percentage of non-oil exports from 16% to 50% of non-oil GDP, and reducing the unemployment rate to 7%.
Investments exceeding 12 trillion riyals will be pumped into the local economy until 2030, under the umbrella of this strategy.
Saudi Arabia has also launched major billion-dollar projects to contribute to the welfare of society, provide jobs and attract global investments, the most recent of which is the announcement by the Saudi Crown Prince, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, on November 16, to establish the NEOM Industrial City “Oxagon“.
The city forms the largest floating structure in the world and is a center for NEOM’s development of the “blue economy”, relying on the seas to achieve sustainable development, which reflects NEOM’s focus on creative and innovative development.
NEOM Industrial City “Oxagon” is based on the same philosophy and concepts of “The Line” communities that were launched in January 2021, as it will provide an exceptional possibility of living harmoniously with nature, through an ideal location on the Red Sea near the Suez Canal, which passes through It crosses nearly 13% of world trade.
As part of the Kingdom’s reform efforts, Saudi women’s participation in the workforce has increased to 33.2% in 2020, up from 19.4% in 2017, in addition to developing laws that protect and enhance their rights at the personal and professional levels.
In the context of the Kingdom’s interest and keenness that comprehensive development includes all regions and cities of the Kingdom for the benefit of all citizens, Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on October 17, the launch of strategic offices to develop the regions of Al-Baha, Al-Jawf, and Jazan.
The announcement of the strategic offices came two weeks after Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the strategy to develop the Asir region under the slogan “Shams and Sheem”, which aims to achieve a comprehensive and unprecedented development renaissance for the region, by pumping 50 billion riyals ($13 billion), through various investments.
On October 25, Saudi Arabia launched the National Infrastructure Fund intending to contribute to the development of the financial sector by finding alternative solutions to finance infrastructure projects.