Saudi Crown Prince prepares international roadshow
March 7, 2018 -- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ventures abroad seeking foreign support and investment for his 2030 Vision, his blueprint for the transformation of the oil-dependent kingdom into a market-based economy. He first visits the UK from March 7 to 9 and the United States from March 19 to 22. He is also expected to visit France in the coming weeks.
The crown prince, who at 32 is also defence minister and heir apparent, is believed to be behind the various recent shake-ups in the country. He is aiming modernize the deeply conservative kingdom by sponsoring public concerts and lifting bans on cinemas and women driving.
But his ambitious reform agenda, which is popular with much of Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning youth population, faces resistance from some of the old guard more comfortable with the kingdom’s traditions of incremental change and rule by consensus.