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The New Arab

#SaudiVision2030: Saudis praise 'beginning of new era'

The project aims to set up one of the world's biggest government investment funds [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 April, 2016

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Saudi social media has been abuzz with positive comments about "Vision 2030" - the ambitious project to wean the country off its "oil addiction".

Reaction to the bold economic reforms dubbed "Vision 2030", unveiled by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, have returned overwhelmingly positive responses from the Saudi public on social media.

Having hinted at a suite of measures for weeks, on Monday the second in line to the throne announced the ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy away from oil and transform a country that has for decades relied mainly on its vast petroleum resources.

Saudis have used the Arabic-language hashtag #SaudiVision2030 to express their high hopes for the project, at the root of which is the sale of less than five percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Translation: "I attended the Q&A session with Prince Mohammad after he announced the project. The dialogue is transparent and daring, the challenge will be in the implementation," said commentator Khalid al-Alkami.

Translation: "Today is the beginning of a new era, in which we will have no fears of taking responsibility for our actions and improving ourselves, making us ever more confident that the country's future will be as it should be," said author Abdallah al-Jumah.

Translation: "I hope God makes the programme is a success and that it works out for our leaders. May God bless them with sound counsel and keep away from evil," said Saudi rally car driver Yazeed al-Rajhi.

Translation: "Saudi Vision 2030 aims to ensure that every Saudi has safety, stability, a decent life, a sincere sense of justice, integrity and the end of corruption," said Salman al-Dosary, editor-in-chief of Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

Translation: "The people are happy with the positive steps towards reform and change that address their concerns and worries of the future. The inclusion of a wide variety of young people in the programme is worthy of praise and a sign it will succeed," said Islamic preacher Salman al-Ouda.

The government set up a Twitter account for the programme on Tuesday, attracting more than 350,000 followers within hours. The account tweeted a short video explaining the key elements of the plan in slides, which has since been retweeted thousands of times.

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