Industrial progress is more vital to Saudi Arabia‘s future than oil, the kingdom‘s energy minister told CNBC Monday.

“Industry is the number one priority for the kingdom,” Khalid Al-Falih told CNBC‘s Hadley Gamble in Riyadh.

“Oil is important, it‘s going to be important for as long as all of us live and beyond for generations to come. But the future of this nation, and the future of my children and grandchildren and the next few generations of Saudi Arabia is going to be shaped by how we plan and execute programs for implementing Vision 2030, like the program we‘re launching today. And I have to give it higher priority,” he said.

on Monday as the kingdom hopes to attract 1.6 trillion riyals ($426 billion) of foreign investment by 2030, specifically into the industry, logistics, mining and energy sectors.

“This is a program that integrates four major pillars of the Saudi economy, they‘re all active now. These are nothing new but they will be stronger, more competitive and more diverse,” Al-Falih said.

“The sophisticated integrative logistics sector will connect (the other pillars) and will connect the kingdom with the rest of the world and will create a platform for exports and competitiveness for the new economy for Saudi Arabia being built under the Vision 2030.”


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