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Business as usual for the Saudi economy

Whatever Mohammed bin Salman says, oil will remain central to the Saudi economy for the coming years

LISTENING to discussions about Saudi Vision 2030, it’s easy to think the kingdom’s role as an oil producer is coming to an end. Of all the elements in the al-Arabiya TV interview with deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman the one that has caught the imagination of Saudis is that focussing on the country’s relationship with oil. “We have an addiction to oil in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that it was a serious issue which needed tackling. The deputy crown prince also rashly predicted that by 2020, if the steps outlined in the strategic plan were taken, “we can live without oil”. The prediction, most Saudi commentators agree, is not realistic and was probably a slip of the t

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