By Kamran Bokhari
Summary Saudi Arabia has embarked on a path of unprecedented transformation. A key characteristic of this major effort at reform is that it is reactive. The Saudis are under tremendous pressure to preserve their polity at a time when the region around them is in the throes of a massive convulsion. While business as usual is untenable, rapid changes could make matters worse.
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet approved an ambitious plan on April 25 to reform the kingdom’s political economy. Dubbed Saudi Vision 2030, it is being described as the brainchild of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old son of the kingdom’s monarch. The plan aims to eliminate the kingdom’s dependence on oil revenues – in large part through the sale of a small stake in the state-owned oil company, Aramco, and creation of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. In an April 25 interview with Al-Arabiya designed to showcase the plan, whose details will be made availa