King Salman’s expertise ‘vital for economic growth’
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is the right person to grow the economy because of his immense achievements as former governor of Riyadh and being a close confidant of previous rulers, said several business leaders and experts recently. Fahad Al-Hamadi, president of the Arab Contractor’s Union and head of the national contractor’s committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said King Salman transformed Riyadh in terms of services, new buildings, development projects and trade and investment activities. Al-Hamadi said King Salman had helped to develop both the public and private sectors. He was the first person to encourage the setting up of chambers of commerce and industry, and expansion of industrial zones, which had boosted business activities in the city, he said. King Salman had provided considerable support to the private sector and helped businesspeople achieve their goals in all areas of the economy, notably contracting and large industries. He was also at the forefront of charity, cultural and social activities that helped protect the country’s heritage, said Al-Hamadi. Yasin bin Said Al-Sorour, head of the International Chamber of Commerce, Saudi Arabia, lauded King Salman for his achievements during the years he spent with King Abdulaziz and his brothers when they were the country’s rulers. He said these experiences have ensured that King Salman can lead the country to greater prosperity and resulted in widespread recognition of his abilities globally. Al-Sorour said King Salman, during more than five decades as governor of Riyadh, had overseen the development of the city of about 200,000 inhabitants into a major metropolis in the Arab world, which now has a population of more than 5 million people. While at the helm, he had completed and started a series of mega infrastructure projects including highways, schools, hospitals, universities, sports stadiums, museums and the Riyadh metro project. As soon as he was appointed minister of defense in 2011, he accelerated the development of training programs and weaponry. In addition, he supervised the biggest military maneuvers in the history of the Saudi Armed Forces, Al-Sorour said. Mohammed Fahad Al-Hamadi, head of the agriculture and food security committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), said King Salman had completed an impressive series of economic projects while in Riyadh. This included sponsorship of the Riyadh Economic Forum (REF) organized by the RCCI, which had seen major investment flows into the city. He had also ensured top class public services for citizens and expatriates in the city, he said.