27 October 2017
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy historically known for its oil and its hyperconservative version of Islam, which requires women to wear full-length robes in public and gives them fewer legal rights than men. That the kingdom is betting its future on solar power, high tech and entertainment — realms in which it has virtually no background — is a sign of how determined the leadership is to modernize.
But serious questions remain about its ability to execute such complex plans, which rely heavily on international interest and money. Investors could balk at putting substantial capital into an often opaque system at a time of such major economic and social change, including granting women the right to drive.
“My reading is that major investors are teased by what is happening in Saudi but are not yet convinced that they want to put their money where their mouth is,” said James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “There is a lot of potential here. How realistic that potential is remains to be seen.”
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 31/10/2017