On the 25th April 2016, Prince Mohammed ben Salmane will announce the King’s vision for Saudi Arabia.

This is a plan for the passage from an oil-based economy to another economy without oil.

The kingdom should create a sovereign Investment Fund of 2 thousand billion dollars. It should set up a variety of taxes (but no direct taxation) in order to raise 100 billion dollars over the next four years. Petrol, electricity and water will no longer be subsidised.

Various measures for the modernisation of the lifestyle should accompany this plan, notably allowing women the right to drive.

Numerous economists have expressed their scepticism about the possibility of modernising the kingdom. Several earlier plans, far less ambitious, have failed due to the conditions of the labour market. 80% of the kingdom’s private work force is composed of foreigners.

Pete Kimberley