September 23rd of every year brings the memory of a glorious day in our national history where the founding His Majesty King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud had unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With such precious national occasion every year, the National Day is an important landmark in the history of modern Saudi Arabia. We celebrate with pride and dignity the efforts and sacrifices made by our ancestors in building and serving the Kingdom.
This year we celebrate the 92nd Anniversary of the National Day while the Kingdom continues the process of development and growth in all fields under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the trustworthy Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Kingdom is experiencing a qualitative renaissance despite regional and international challenges.
In recognition of the leadership's willingness to invest all national resources to serve the country and its citizens, the Kingdom's "Vision 2030" was announced with its national contents, development and future plans in order to diversify sources of income, increase efficiency of government performance, and to modernize regulations and administrative structure. Marking the beginning of a new phase of development and the hard work for a better future, “Vision 2030” aims to keep cooperating with developed countries, to achieve a comprehensive development, to employ the Kingdom's potentials and its energy by utilizing the Kingdom's strategic location. As a result of this vision, economic and social reforms have been bearing fruits and the Kingdom has been emerging as one of the attractive economic destinations in the world.
Recently, Travel, Tourism, and Entertainment became a priority sector under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative. The Saudi Arabian government aims to increase domestic household spending related to entertainment and leisure activities, and to transform the country into a major global travel destination. In 2018, the government ended the 30-year ban on cinemas. By the end of 2021, there were 45 movie theaters in Saudi Arabia that had presented more than 1,000 films, and the inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival featured 138 films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages. Additionally, there are plans to build a media city in order to create a multiservice media ecosystem to support content and talent creation.
On the tourism front, Saudi Arabia plans to welcome over 100 million visitors annually by 2030. To this end, it has implemented numerous initiatives including an e-visa system for citizens of 49 countries, the opening of its UNESCO World Heritage sites, the construction of resorts on its Red Sea coast, and the launch of a cruise line. In 2020, the Ministry of Tourism announced that it would invest up to $4 billion into bolstering the tourism industry by launching the new Tourism Development Fund. The Ministry also stated that it would actively work with private sector investors to capitalize on new growth opportunities as tourism enters a post-COVID pandemic rebound phase.
The Kingdom plays a major role in maintaining security in the region, and it enjoys a regional, Arab, Islamic and international status, while playing an active role in international decision-making, and its continuous pursuit for international peace.
Moreover, the Kingdom is one of the largest countries supporting the humanitarian and relief work in the world, aware of the importance of alleviating human suffering and ensuring a decent life for those who are vulnerable and needy.
As one of the major global oil producers, Saudi Arabia recognizes its responsibility in fighting against climate change. Saudi Arabia is already engineering innovative solutions to help combat the climate crisis, and in the dawning era of renewables. SGI will support the Kingdom to become an international leader in sustainability.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Green Initiative is a catalyst for action-driving climate efforts in the region and beyond. The importance of reversing the effects of climate change is tangible across the Middle East and North Africa, where the impact of rising temperatures is already affecting livelihoods.
By working together, nations can scale up climate commitments and deliver clear targets designed to protect the planet and ensure a positive future.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, and cooperative relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea, which marks the 60th Anniversary this year since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1962. Through a long history, two countries have witnessed a qualitative leap and great development in various fields including politics, military, economy, education, culture, intellectual property, information technology and health. In fact, the bilateral cooperation has been enhanced and extended vastly to improve the relationship between two countries.
The Saudi-Korean bilateral relations are a model of relations among nations that they have often shared the same values on different international events, bilateral coordination, mutual understanding and mutual support in international bodies and organizations.
On this auspicious occasion, I sincerely wish our two countries and the two friendly peoples continued further prosperity, security and stability.