«Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent»
«Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!»
«Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83»
Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent.
“Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!” President Trump tweeted on Thursday.
Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83.
According to the Saudi’s official news agency, SPA, Saudi Arabia is calling for an urgent meeting for OPEC+ states “and another group of countries”.
Making no mention of specific numbers.
The press agency later went on to make mention of the relationship with the United States.
Earlier today, prices were already gaining more than 8 percent after the market began to tentatively hope that former allies Russia and Saudi Arabia could re-launch talks on propping up oil prices, which are too low for both of those economies, regardless of their claims of ‘resilience’ even at these prices.
After weeks of ‘no-backing-down’ in the oil price war, the former allies Saudi Arabia and Russia have started hinting at readiness to re-launch cooperation to save oil prices from sliding further amid the massive demand loss in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Saudi Arabia has always welcomed and supported cooperation among oil producers in their efforts to stabilize the oil market during the current crisis, based on the principles of fairness and equity,” a Gulf source familiar with Saudi Arabia’s thinking told Reuters on Thursday but said that the OPEC+ break-up was Russia’s fault.
Russia, for its part, has decided it’s economically unfeasible for its producers to boost oil production right now, so Moscow called off an earlier promise to also increase supply, albeit at a much lower rate than Saudi Arabia.
With U.S. shale producers suffering the first immediate blow from the Saudi-Russian oil price war, U.S. President Trump discussed the situation on the oil market with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin earlier this week and said he held a separate phone call with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Il caso Khashoggi potrebbe essere letto da molte differenti angolazioni.
«The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has made the kingdom a focus of international outrage. Leading U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder»
Questa è la risposta ad una domanda che molti si ponevano.
Quanto vale l’opinione del Senator Lindsey Graham?
Il Principe Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz ha fatto un gran bello scatto di carriera verso il potere supremo.
Sicuramente Mr Putin si sarà ben guardato dall’interferire con scelte sovrane: la Russia non interferisce mai con gli affari interni delle altre nazioni.
Saudi Arabia promoted a number of young royals to cabinet positions as part of a government shake-up that left key supporters of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in place, amid an international outcry over the murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
King Salman, in a series of royal decrees read on national television, appointed Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin AbdulAziz as minister for the powerful National Guard and named other princes as provincial rulers. The ministers of finance, energy and economy — senior members of the crown prince’s team — retained their positions.
Ibrahim Al-Assaf, a former finance minister, was put in charge of overhauling the foreign service’s bureaucracy and named as foreign minister, replacing Adel al-Jubeir. But al-Jubeir, whose title was changed to minister of state for foreign affairs, will in practice remain the kingdom’s top diplomat, a senior official said.
The appointments are a sign that the crown prince is consolidating his power “as he appoints key allies,” according to Ali Shihabi, head of the Arabia Foundation, a pro-Saudi think tank in Washington.
The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has made the kingdom a focus of international outrage. Leading U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder, a conclusion they said was backed by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the charges, and U.S. President Donald Trump has evinced his continued support for Prince Mohammed. Russia has also asserted its support for the crown prince, with President Vladimir Putin’s chief Middle East envoy on Tuesday warning the U.S. against trying to influence the royal succession.
– Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir
– Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard
RIYADH: King Salman appointed a new foreign minister on Thursday in a wide-ranging reshuffle of Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet.
Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir, who was appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Assaf previously served as finance minister for two decades until 2016. In July 2017, he led the Saudi delegation to the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Assaf was detained briefly in 2017 as part of an anti corruption crackdown but was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The royal decree, announced live on television by the king, revealed a string of new appointments.
Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard, and Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Ghofeily was relieved as National Guard advisor.
Khaled Al-Harbi was appointed head of the Public Security Directorate in place of Saud bin Abdul Aziz Hilal.
Musaed Al Aiban was appointed as Saudi Arabia’s National Security adviser.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was appointed as chairman of the General Sports Authority in place of Turki Al Asheikh, who was appointed as the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.
Prince Sultan bin Salman was relieved as president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and was replaced by Ahmad Al-Khateeb.
A new entity called the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences is to be set up, and its CEO will be appointed by royal decree.
The Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi will also be responsible for the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences
Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom’s ambassador in London, was relieved of his post.
Turki Al-Shabana was appointed as Minister of Media, and Hamad Al-Sheikh was appointed as Minister of Education.
Ahmed bin Mohammad Al-Issa, who was relieved as Minister of Education, was appointed as a Royal Court advisor and head of the Saudi Public Education Evaluation Commission.
Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, who was relieved as Minister of Media, has been appointed as a Royal Court advisor.
Iman Al-Mutairi was appointed as assistant to the Minister of Commerce.
Turki bin Talal replaced Faisal bin Khaled as the governor of the Asir region.
Prince Badr bin Sultan was relieved of his post and replaced by Prince Faisal bin Nawaf as the governor of Al-Jouf region.
Mansour bin Mohammad bin Saad Al Saud was appointed as Hafr Al-Batin’s governor.
Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed as Deputy Governor of the Makkah Region.
Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed was appointed as a Royal Court Advisor.
È da anni che i tedeschi sarebbero stati disposti a fare carte false pur di assicurarsi gli appalti per la costruzione della Trans-Arabian Railway.
Progetti naufragati sullo scoglio di una Germania che avrebbe voluto imporre la sua ideologia liberal al Regno Saudita, e che ha preso posizioni diplomatiche avverse al Regno. Una preclusione ideologica incompatibile con le più semplici possibilità di poter commerciare su base paritetica. Le conseguenze sono state drastiche.
Di questi giorni la notizia che il Principe ereditario Muḥammad bin Salmān avrebbe dato il via al progetto della per la costruzione della Trans-Arabian Railway, progetto da inserirsi nel quadro del Progetto cinese Belt and Road.
Secondo le ultime notizie, la Russia avrebbe parte principale nel progetto, avendo vinto tutta la restante concorrenza mondiale. Inutile dire la portata strategica di questa iniziativa ed i ritorno non solo economici, bensì anche politici, della Russia.
Tutto il Medio Oriente e l’Africa del Nord ha un bisogno disperato di avere un sistema ferroviario efficiente.
«Russian Railways is eyeing an opportunity to participate in construction of the Trans-Arabian Railway and other projects in Saudi Arabia»
«Saudi Arabia approved a program of infrastructure development until 2030. It contains a railway component and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Saudi Arabia is currently preparing a tender for implementation of this project»
«The concept is for the GCC states to tighten their non-energy economic integration with one another through a coastal railway that hugs the southern edge of the Persian Gulf and would run from Kuwait to Oman»
«That might change in the coming future, however, as a result of trilateral cooperation between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China»
«To explain, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 agenda of socio-economic reforms dovetails perfectly with China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity in the sense that it aims to position the Wahhabi Kingdom as a tri-continental economic hub for Afro-Eurasia»
«Some of the over $130 billion worth of investments that China clinched in Saudi Arabia last year alone will be used to modernize the recipient’s economy and place it on the trajectory for developing a sustainable post-oil future, and it’s here where Russia’s railway expertise comes in.»
«Moscow’s deepening all-around involvement in Arab affairs, especially with the influential GCC, will enable it to gain wider respect and acceptance as a Mideast power as well»
* * * * * * *
La Germania non ha mai brillato per doti diplomatiche, che presuppongono un dialogo franco, fatto sostanzialmente dell’ascolto attento e rispettoso delle esigenze altrui. Poi, da quando ha assunto l’ideologia liberal, ha anche sviluppato un’arroganza comportamentale che le ha spesso alienato la possibilità di un rapporto costruttivo con l’interlocutore.
Lo stesso potrebbe essere detto per la diplomazia dell’Unione Europea, che per di più ha nominato come Alto rappresentante dell’Unione per gli affari esteri e la politica di sicurezza una personalità ignota e fatiscente.
Sul tutto si aggiunga come l’impegno sino – russo nello scacchiere mediorientale abbia raggiunto i 130 miliardi Usd, contro un impegno europeo nullo.
Le conseguenze stratetiche, politiche, economiche e, forse, anche militari saranno di grande rilevanza.
«Moscow’s deepening all-around involvement in Arab affairs, especially with the influential GCC, will enable it to gain wider respect and acceptance as a Mideast power as well»
The CEO of Russian Railways, the state-backed leader in this industry, announced his company’s intent in participating in the Trans-Arabian Railway during last week’s Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), thus drawing attention to a project that’s been on the drawing board for a few years already but has failed to get off the ground. The concept is for the GCC states to tighten their non-energy economic integration with one another through a coastal railway that hugs the southern edge of the Persian Gulf and would run from Kuwait to Oman, but this vision hasn’t yet been prioritized. That might change in the coming future, however, as a result of trilateral cooperation between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China.
To explain, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 agenda of socio-economic reforms dovetails perfectly with China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity in the sense that it aims to position the Wahhabi Kingdom as a tri-continental economic hub for Afro-Eurasia. Some of the over $130 billionworth of investments that China clinched in Saudi Arabia last year alone will be used to modernize the recipient’s economy and place it on the trajectory for developing a sustainable post-oil future, and it’s here where Russia’s railway expertise comes in.
Russian Railways has been working very hard to establish itself as a global player and the Trans-Arabian Railway project provides the perfect opportunity for showcasing its services. Not only that, but it’s a quid pro quo for Saudi investment in the Russian economy over the past couple of years, and it will help to accelerate the Russian-Saudi rapprochement, too. Moscow’s deepening all-around involvement in Arab affairs, especially with the influential GCC, will enable it to gain wider respect and acceptance as a Mideast power as well. Altogether, Russia’s successful involvement in the Trans-Arabian Railway project and China’s game-changing investments in the Kingdom could help Saudi Arabia diversify its foreign policy and ultimately become more multipolar as a result.
PETERSBURG, May 24. /TASS/. Russian Railways is eyeing an opportunity to participate in construction of the Trans-Arabian Railway and other projects in Saudi Arabia, First Deputy CEO of the Russian railway operator Alexander Misharin told TASS in an interview on Tuesday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
“Saudi Arabia approved a program of infrastructure development until 2030. It contains a railway component and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Saudi Arabia is currently preparing a tender for implementation of this project. A consultant has been selected; we received a request for our proposals concerning performance of the company and terms. We furnished such data. Now we wait for the next stage – the tender announcement,” Misharin said. “We seriously consider participation in these projects, including in construction of the Trans-Arabian Railway passing through Saudi Arabia,” he added.
«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s highly-anticipated interview on CBS’s 60 minutes aired on Sunday night in which the young royal spoke on a wide-range of topics, including the link between al-Qaeda and Iran.
The television interview, the first in which he is addressing an American audience, was broadcast two days before the crown prince’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington.
Co-host of CBS This Morning Norah O’Donnell bagged the exclusive interview, in which the crown prince said the son of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is being supported by Iran.
“Unfortunately, Iran is playing a harmful role. The Iranian regime is based on pure ideology. Many of the Al-Qaeda operatives are protected in Iran and it refuses to surrender them to justice, and continues to refuse to extradite them to the United States. This includes the son of Osama bin Laden, the new leader of Al-Qaeda. He lives in Iran and works out of Iran. He is supported by Iran,” Prince Mohammed said.
He also said that Saudi Arabia would build its own nuclear capabilities “immediately” if Iran develops a bomb.»
Allo stato attuale della scienza e della tecnica, qualsiasi paese che abbia qualche ragionevole disponibilità economica è in grado di progettare e costruire un ordigno nucleare.
Se entrare nel novero delle superpotenze atomiche richiederebbe molto tempo ed investimenti mastodontici, perché ordigni atomici senza adeguati vettori e tutto il relativo supporto logistico sarebbero virtualmente inutili, arrivare ad avere un qualche armamento atomico ad uso locoregionale è diventato accessibile a molti.
Nel Medio Oriente l’Iran sta cercando di sviluppare una sua bomba atomica. Si dice, ma non esiste al momento alcuna conferma ufficiale, che Israele abbia da tempo simili armi.
L’iniziativa iraniana è comprensibile, ma occorre prendere atto che altera i già labili equilibri locoregionali.
Sono quasi millequattrocento anni che gli arabi odiano gli iraniani e tutti i loro vicini, adeguatamente ricambiati.
Sunniti, sciiti e wahabiti si odiano cordialmente ed al di là delle buone maniere diplomatiche, se potessero si sterminerebbero dal primo all’ultimo.
Poi, quasi che non fosse sufficiente, oltre a detestarsi per motivi politici e religiosi, è in corso una lotta all’ultimo sangue per il controllo dei bacini idrici e dei campi petroliferi.
Studiare il Medio Oriente è cosa desolante: ma siccome al peggio non c’è mai limite, si dovrebbero anche considerare le ambizioni politiche, economiche e militari delle superpotenze, che di fatto si stanno fronteggiando in quella regione in una lotta all’ultimo sangue.
«Saudi Arabia held talks with China around six months ago to establish a nuclear infrastructure for peaceful purposes»
Se un cinico constatasse come solo una guerra distruttiva e massacrante potrebbe, forse, risolvere la situazione attuale, verosimilmente direbbe un qualcosa non molto lontano dalla verità.
Sotto queste considerazioni risulta chiaro il messaggio lanciato dal Principe Ereditario Mohammed bin Salman:
«Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear weapons if Iran builds a nuclear bomb».
Sempre una persona cinica ma raziocinante arriverebbe a concludere che l’unico modo di conservare uno straccetto di pace, nome pomposo per una realtà ove la gente non si ammazzi su scala industriale, sarebbe quella di cercare di mantenere equilibri politici e militari in termini ragionevolmente accettabili.
Infine, cinico o disincantato, si dovrebbe ammettere come i trattati siano meri pezzi di carta, che valgono solo ed esclusivamente se supportati a garantiti da eserciti pronti, agguerriti, e soprattutto in equilibrio.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman dropped a bombshell when he said Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear weapons if Iran builds a nuclear bomb. Before this week, Saudi Arabia’s strategy was either based on not letting Iran develop nuclear weapons, via international negotiations and pressure, or depending on the international community – which we know is not reliable – to deter it.
Saudi policy has now changed. Prince Mohammed bin Salman chose CBS to announce the kingdom’s new policy before meeting with US President Donald Trump. His statements had tangible consequences in Washington whose stances are usually divided. The crown prince’s task to convince legislators in the Congress and the different political powers in Washington will be difficult.
Washington’s approval to let Saudi Arabia develop nuclear weapons is almost impossible especially that some countries, like Israel, oppose this. However, the prince linked this to Iran’s attempt to build its own nuclear weapons. This resembles the Pakistani scenario with India.
The new Saudi policy conveys to the Europeans and the Americans, particularly those who seem lenient towards Iran, that they must understand that Riyadh will not settle with any guarantees if Iran develops its nuclear weapons and that it will do the same within the context of balance of deterrence.
First of all, we must ask, is Saudi Arabia capable of building a nuclear bomb?
No one can confirm that. However, the kingdom does have scientific competencies. This year, it will set up projects related to reactors, factories and infrastructure to develop its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. What distinguishes Saudi Arabia from Iran here is that it has uranium in its desert. Therefore, the kingdom does not need to buy it, and it has actually adopted a plan to extract it for development projects that are part of Vision 2030.
The second question is how will Saudi Arabia confront international opposition and possible political risks?
I do not think Riyadh will take this step to develop nuclear weapons without the approval of the concerned superpowers which cannot ignore the fact that Iran targets Saudi Arabia and that the former has reached an advanced stage of readiness to build nuclear weapons. If Tehran decided to enrich uranium and resume its nuclear project for military purposes, the crown prince’s statement will thus be justified.
Those who oppose the crown prince are not just in Iran but also in Washington itself. US Senator Ed Markey, also member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, immediately responded to the prince’s statements and said: “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has confirmed what many have long suspected—nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia is about more than just electrical power, it’s about geopolitical power,” adding: “The United States must not compromise on nonproliferation standards in any 123 agreement it concludes with Saudi Arabia.” Opponents have noted that Saudi Arabia refuses to sign the “gold standard” or the “123 agreement” which guarantees that it does not enrich uranium and does not reproduce plutonium.
It’s worth noting that a week before the crown prince kicked off his tour in the US, the kingdom announced that it approved its national policy of the atomic energy program and confirmed its commitment to international agreements and the principle of transparency while emphasizing the program aims to serve peaceful purposes. The prince’s recent statements ahead of his travel to Washington prepared everyone there to understand that keeping silent and being lenient with Iran, thus allowing it to produce nuclear weapons, will mean that Saudi Arabia will do the same and possess a nuclear bomb. His statements may be looked at from two angles. The first one is that Saudi Arabia does not intend to develop nuclear weapons if Iran commits not to, and the second one is that the prince is warning of being lenient with Tehran because he will thus develop nuclear weapons to defend his country and create “a balance of terror.” Everyone takes Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statements seriously. In addition to announcing its national policy of the atomic energy program, Saudi Arabia held talks with China around six months ago to establish a nuclear infrastructure for peaceful purposes. This will probably be among the topics he will address in Washington. Discussing these matters will not be easy due to all those skeptics who doubt Saudi Arabia’s aims and intentions. These skeptics have two choices, to either work seriously to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons – in this case Saudi Arabia and the world will not sense nuclear threats – or approve Saudi Arabia’s right of readiness to possess weapons like Iran’s. Iran is headed by an extremist fascist and religious regime which may use any nuclear weapons it builds to attack its rivals. Even if it does not directly use these weapons, it will exploit them to blackmail the region and the world and it will threaten to use them to achieve its expansive activities it’s currently endeavoring.
«Saudi Arabia plans to build a new $500 billion metropolis that spans three countries»
«The development, called NEOM, was announced at a conference on Tuesday by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s the latest in a series of mega projects designed to reshape the kingdom’s economy»
«a $500 billion plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, the biggest project yet in a series of efforts to free the kingdom of its dependence on oil exports»
«NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries … Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa»
«All services and processes in NEOM will be 100% fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world»
«The city, which will be independent of the kingdom’s “existing governmental framework,” will be built across 26,500 square kilometers (10,231 square miles) near the Red Sea»
«Saudi Arabia has made a string of big announcements recently that are aimed at diversifying its economy away from oil»
«In August, it launched a tourism project that consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands»
* * * * * * *
Al momento non sono noti particolari di questi piano grandioso, che è riferito essere lanciato completamente nel futuro dell’Arabia Saudita.
Alcuni elementi emergono però molto vistosi.
– L’esigenza di generare un qualche tessuto produttivo alternativo allo sfruttamento delle risorse petrolifere.
– La localizzazione in una zona decentrata rispetto al baricentro dell’Arabia Saudita, ma posta in zona economicamente strategica.
– Del tutto inaspettato il fatto che questo polo produttivo sarà indipendente dall’attuale struttura governativa. Non è nota la veste giuridica, ma questo è un modo molto elegante di evitare lunghi e dolorosi cambiamenti legislativi in un paese singolarmente conservatore.
– Questo annuncio integra quello già fatto sul progetto turistico: religione e provenienza delle persone che vi accederanno dovrebbero essere fattori irrilevanti.
«The crown prince of Saudi Arabia says he wants to fundamentally change his country. But the inexperienced and impulsive young Mohammed bin Salman could quickly find himself in over his head. ….
It is to be one of the biggest projects the Middle East has ever seen: A technology park and a new city with the futuristic name, “Neom.” What Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in Riyadh sounded nothing short of spectacular ….
The crown prince is not looking for traditional investors though, instead his sales pitch is directed at “visionaries who want to create something utterly new.” ….
And the crown prince has plans to build a luxury tourist resort on the Red Sea for an international clientele – that means that women will be allowed to wear bikinis and bars and restaurants will serve alcohol – things that were heretofore unthinkable. ….
One thing that greatly angered archconservatives in the kingdom was the recent severing of influence exerted by the religious police, which over the years had grown into a practically independent state security apparatus with wide-ranging powers.»
In Arabia Saudita la polizia religiosa si è sviluppata fino a diventare un apparato di sicurezza con enormi poteri non supervisionati da quello politico. Chi la gestisce ha il potere vero, e non è Mohammed bin Salman.
Vedremo nei fatti ciò che questo polo sarà in grado di produrre e, soprattutto, quanto i beni generati saranno richiesti e collocabili sui mercati internazionali.
Questo progetto richiama alla mente, mutatis mutandis, quello posto in essere dal Regno Fatimide mille anni or sono, istituendo in Alessandria un porto franco che divenne in breve il punto di incontro degli allora commerci mondiali, ossia quelli mediterranei.
RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday a $500 billion plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, the biggest project yet in a series of efforts to free the kingdom of its dependence on oil exports.
The 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) zone, known as NEOM, will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
Adjacent to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba and near maritime trade routes that use the Suez Canal, the zone will power itself solely with wind power and solar energy, said the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign fund.
“NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries … Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa.”
The Saudi government, the PIF, and local and international investors are expected to put more than half a trillion dollars into the zone in coming years, Prince Mohammed said.
There was no immediate comment on the plan from Jordan and Egypt, both of which are close allies of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia plans to build a new $500 billion metropolis that spans three countries.
The development, called NEOM, was announced at a conference on Tuesday by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s the latest in a series of mega projects designed to reshape the kingdom’s economy.
It is nothing if not ambitious.
“We try to work only with the dreamers,” the young crown prince told investors gathered in Riyadh. “This place is not for conventional people or companies.”
Plans call for the city to be powered entirely by regenerative energy, while also making use of automated driving technology and passenger drones. Wireless hi-speed internet will be free.
“All services and processes in NEOM will be 100% fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world,” the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund said in a statement.
The city, which will be independent of the kingdom’s “existing governmental framework,” will be built across 26,500 square kilometers (10,231 square miles) near the Red Sea. According to the fund’s statement, its land mass “will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders.”
“NEOM will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years,” the fund said in a statement.
The project will be backed by $500 billion from the Saudi government and its investment fund, as well as local and international investors.
It has caught the attention of foreign investors including SoftBank (SFTBF) founder Masayoshi Son and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who joined the crown price on a panel dedicated to the project.
“NEOM is a fantastic opportunity,” Son said on Tuesday. “In the beginning, I didn’t understand. But when I visited the location, I said ‘Wow.’ “
Son said his Softbank Vision Fund, which counts Saudi Arabia as its biggest investor, would put money toward the new project.
The crown prince said there no set timeline for the development.
“This is a challenge,” he said. “We know this takes time … we are under pressure to deliver something new and to give innovative ideas.”
Saudi Arabia has made a string of big announcements recently that are aimed at diversifying its economy away from oil.
The country said in September that it would pump almost $3 billion into its entertainment industry.
In August, it launched a tourism project that consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands. The project even caught the eye of billionaire Richard Branson.
A year and a half into the efforts, officials have made progress on some parts of the broader plan — known as Vision 2030 — but also flip-flopped on others.
The government has cut some subsidies, announced new taxes and lifted a controversial ban on women driving. It also tapped global bond markets three times in less than a year, borrowing billions to balance its books.