Riyadh: Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim discussed the importance of investing in Saudi youth in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
The minister said young people are “the guardians of tomorrow’s economy” and are key to driving economic transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that young people have the tools and knowledge to create value and influence in decision-making,” Al-Ibrahim said.
With young people making up the majority of the kingdom’s population, the minister highlighted some of the ways he believes Vision 2030 is opening up new opportunities for younger generations.
“Vision 2030 aims to lay the foundations for growth and unite the Kingdom towards a shared, prosperous future,” he said.
With their digitally native skills, they can take our economy in exciting new directions as we continue to accelerate the diversification of the Kingdom, boost the growth of our non-oil sector, and strive to become a top 15 global economy by 2030 powerful.
Faisal bin Fadr IbrahimSaudi Minister of Economy and Planning
“The new sector created by Vision 2030 presents unprecedented opportunities for Saudi youth to drive a new economy. With their digitally native skills, they can take our economy in exciting new directions as we continue to accelerate the kingdom’s pluralism globalization, foster growth in our non-oil sector and aim to become a top 15 global economy by 2030,” he added.
Al-Ibrahim said that the work being done by the Ministry of Economy and Planning will contribute to the realization of Vision 2030.
He emphasized that the ministry’s commitment to help develop future economists, researchers and policy planners is ongoing and will carry this work forward into the Kingdom’s future.
“I’m always amazed at what our young people can do when they have the opportunity,” he said.
He added: “Enabling young people to stay in work and ultimately invest in themselves will only help strengthen our future labor markets, boost productivity and strengthen our global economic competitiveness.”
Al-Ibrahim was speaking on the second day of the Misk Global Forum, which concluded on Thursday in a session titled “The Generation Reshaping the World,” where he discussed how to empower youth and the Kingdom’s future leaders The skills to navigate the economy transform in an inclusive and collaborative manner.
“The energy and dynamism radiating from our young people today – which was on full display at the Misk Global Forum 2022 – is inspiring. They are our future and the guardians of tomorrow’s economy. We must respect them now Investing to unlock the potential of the demographic dividend we have, we have one of the largest youth populations in the world,” he said.
The Minister discussed the importance of holding public discussions and gatherings to address global issues from all perspectives, from youth to older generations, such as the Misk Global Forum.
“Opening up to youthful energy has enormous value. Bringing a different generational perspective to any challenge only enhances the solutions we can design and execute,” he explains.
“As a country, we are designing policies that work for everyone, contributing in a forum that is open to all generations. This sends a very clear message to our young people that there is nothing stopping them from contributing contribute meaningfully to the country’s economic transformation,” he added.
The minister also highlighted his ministry’s role in the Kingdom’s sustainable development ambitions under the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework signed in June this year and running until 2026.
“The Ministry of Economy and Planning recently established a Sustainable Development Steering Committee to monitor performance and coordinate efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
“It is led by government experts from the Kingdom who are committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the national SDG agenda,” he added.
“To further strengthen our drive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in June we signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework to accelerate our joint efforts to make progress on climate and sustainability.”
The Framework is one of the main tools for planning cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Saudi Arabia on sustainable development. Some of the 17 goals the Kingdom is working on with the United Nations include gender equality, education, affordable and clean energy, climate action and sustainable cities and communities.
The framework is a joint effort of the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations.
At the end of the interview, the Minister gave advice to the younger generation in terms of contributing to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“Cultivating a problem-solving mindset is critical in today’s socioeconomic environment. We’ve seen clear evidence that they have it,” he said.
“Everyone is supporting the cause (during the COVID-19 pandemic) and responding to this moment because of the sense of ownership that comes with being involved. Young people in Saudi Arabia have shown they are ready for the challenge,” he said.
“They face several major challenges today, and they must develop resilience and agility to overcome them.”