Economic Diplomacy

In Riyadh, Resolve Differs From Reality

The news from Riyadh on the massive economic shake-up set to unfurl is classic Saudi. Vision 2030 is bold and brash, aligning with a “bigger is better” mindset. It begs sacrifice from a society that has come of age expecting the state to be the provider-of-perpetual-resort; it panders to nationalist sentiment with greater military outlays. We would be foolish to question Saudi resolve, but we suggest that the plan boils down to a curious exercise in fiscal engineering. Riyadh neglects to recognize the fact that it needs stellar global growth to strengthen and validate its ambitions. Such growth is fanciful at best. Better for the government to conjure the myth of the self-sufficient Bedouin.

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