Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Economic and Development Affairs Council, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has stressed that the Saudi people's will, great determination and subtlety are behind the Kingdom's approach to new horizons which would put the state on the map of the developed countries.
Addressing the gathering following the signing ceremony of a contract establishing "NEOM", located in the north of the Kingdom, with a number of foreign companies seeking to invest inside the country, he said: "Within the activities of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), the Saudi people, who have a lot of principles and great values, are behind the development of the Kingdom and its progress due to its support for their leadership forming a concerted political will aiming to develop the state in various fields."
During the session titled "Pulse of Change", Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed confidence on the young people who represent 70% of the Saudi society and are no older than 30 years old. "They will achieve the dream alongside their leadership who hold thousands of dreams," he added.
"I am one of the 20 million youths. They are motivating me. They are the engine pushing me forward. If they work and follow the appropriate direction, they will create another country. Seventy percent of the Saudis have passion, accuracy and cleverness to achieve the unattainable," the Crown Prince said.
"The project is considered a promising one, containing regulations that stimulate businessmen and giant companies home and abroad to invest. We are under pressure to make something new in a short time. We do not want to see ourselves after 15 years to have missed any opportunity. For my part, this is what is bothering me. This is a challenge. With action and participation of many partners of the world and from inside, we will fulfill our aspirations," the Crown Prince added.
"We have almost fantastic opportunities, huge Saudi demand of up to $100 billion and a very large investment capacity of $500 billion", he said, adding that "we have a unique location linking three continents and the most important air and sea transport routes".
In the winter the mountains are snow-soaked, and in the summer the atmosphere is milder, ten degrees less than the rest of the capitals and cities of the Arabian Gulf. We have strong political will, desire, strong popular will and all elements of success do exist to create something greater within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he pointed out.
Given all these opportunities and fundamentals and a semi-empty land, we started to think about why not to abandon building traditional cities. We have the opportunity to move to a new generation of lifestyle, to cities of technologies in terms of health and services, he asserted.
He stressed the need to work with many companies, investors and entrepreneurs to adopt these ideas and exploit the enormous capacity to create something new for the world and to push the world to a new location.
Today we have friends with whom we have worked on this project, investors who have a dream to build the world's largest solar panels in the NEOM project, to build something even greater than the Great Wall in the form of solar panels, he stated.
The world wants to have a chance in a project that serves the way of human life differently, he reiterated, saying that the site is undoubtedly enjoying enough sun rays to generate energy from the sun, in addition to a place where wind is considered among the best locations, in the Middle East and 200,000 barrels of oil which can be extracted from the site per day, in addition to other resources such as gas.
This is a project that is not a place for any traditional investor or company, he said, pointing that the project is only a site and a place for dreamers to create something new in this world.
The Crown Prince stressed that the Kingdom will not waste years dealing with extremist ideas, "because we want a life that translates our tolerant religion and we took steps in the past in order to make that clear", pledging to eradicate the remnants of extremism.
For his part, Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp, delivered a speech in which he stressed that the giant solar system in the world will be established in NEON, confirming the ability of the leadership to achieve its goals and ambitions through this project.
Meanwhile, Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Arconic and Alcoa Corporation, stressed that this project will grant opportunities for the global companies which seek to develop and recruit distinctive minds, lauding the Kingdom Vision 2030.
On the other hand, Marc Raibert, founder and CEO of Boston Dynamics, said: "I shared talks with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. I will convey them to all heads of other companies. Great leaders create great opportunities."