Industry: A lifeboat for our children and grandchildren

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the leading countries in the world today, is seeing sweeping developments that will bring benefits to the country and its people who will always show allegiance to their homeland and their King.

Allah the Almighty has bestowed natural resources upon us, especially oil. Not so long ago, the Kingdom had few economic resources. Our fathers and grandfathers tell us stories about the hardship of the economic conditions in the past and how these conditions have improved today. They lived a tough and primitive life, but today we are blessed with many good things, thanks to Allah the Almighty and the wisdom of the Kings of this country.

The oil boom allowed the Kingdom to take big strides into the future. However, we are sometimes anxious about the future, as oil is not a renewable resource and will be depleted one day, whether we like it or not. Moreover, we should not be oblivious to new competitors (such as those in the United States) and the impact of the decrease in oil prices, which has taken a toll on our country’s resources.

Today, the world is seeing technological advancements in the field of energy and its alternatives, such as solar energy and nuclear power, which are less expensive and more environment-friendly alternatives. Advanced countries use this power to operate vehicles, airplanes, spaceships and machinery. A number of countries are following suit and have conducted research on the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy and the power this energy can generate, which can allow countries to reduce their use of oil and its byproducts.

We should mull over the present and future of the upcoming generations of our country. We should think long and hard about the industrial achievements made over the past years. In fact, these achievements have not advanced our rank among industrial countries. All the funds allocated to the industry sector over the past years have focused on improving the infrastructure and other services as well as improving the living standards of citizens.

These objectives are important, but where are the industrial achievements that will benefit the country and the next generations? The volume of our imports has remained unchanged over the past decades ranging between 93 to 98 percent.

Therefore, I call for implementing scientifically-proven strategic plans. These plans should be prepared by loyal experts and specialists and rely on the quality of education in order to bolster and achieve an industrial revolution. We should learn from the experience of others, which has demonstrated that the success and development of any nation depends on education and industry and on dedicating full attention and care to the modern industrial revolution.

We have two important sources of financing: the state’s budget and investors (i.e., businessmen, millionaires, etc.). Those two sources should focus on all types of industry. Investors should be encouraged and even required, if needed, to invest in industry while their performance should be monitored based on a set schedule. The return on investment in industry ranges between 30 to 50 percent, meaning the return of capital is possible within two to three years from the start of the project. This return is lucrative and can bring profits to the state and to investors.

These two sources of financing can strengthen the industrial sector if well-designed plans are put in place. We could witness sweeping benefits all over the Kingdom if Saudi experts help in designing these plans. We can also forge partnerships with Asian and East European countries and benefit from these countries because they have been successful in implementing industrialization plans. We can use their help in the beginning and then replace the non-Saudi experts with Saudis.

In this way, we will catapult to the forefront of industrialized countries in a short time and will be a manufacturing exporter as well has having reached the stage of self-sufficiency. We will also save a lot of money that is spent on imported goods. Our exports will be an important resource upon which we can rely.

We are a rich country and can do a lot of things if we use our money wisely, and with a real industrialized revolution, we can become a superpower.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has always been known for his love for the country and citizens and for his courageous decisions. All Saudis pin high hopes on the King and are quite certain that he will help the country keep up with advanced countries in terms of technological advancements. May Allah the Almighty protect the King, the Kingdom and its people!


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