Saudi thought leaders say COVID-19 will accelerate national progress

Survey respondents believe that the pandemic will help usher in the 'future of work' in the kingdom

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. The view of Riyadh horizon during a cloudy day.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The view of Riyadh horizon during a cloudy day.

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Thought leaders and decision makers in Saudi Arabia expect at least one positive social impact from COVID-19 to occur by 2025, according to a new survey.

Commissioned by Al Aghar Group in partnership with global management consultancy Kearney, the survey revealed a commonly held belief that COVID-19 will be a positive accelerant of the transformation already underway in the kingdom.

“Saudi Arabia has a proud history of resilience and has thrived even in the most challenging situations. While this pandemic has severely affected us all, the survey results confirm the depth of our intention to use this current situation to accelerate our national progress,” said Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, Chairman of the Board, Al-Aghar Group.

According to the survey, respondents believe that Covid-19 is accelerating the advent of the "future of work" in the kingdom and more than 65 percent see this trend as fundamentally positive.

Seventy percent expect education in Saudi Arabia to undergo a positive transformation with the adoption of new, innovative, and inclusive modes of learning.

The study also showed that 86 percent of respondents anticipate a positive shift in national consciousness regarding the importance of health and wellbeing, while 81 percent expect increasing investment in preventative public health.

“By 2025, 78 percent of respondents expect that COVID-19 will lead to a significant and welcome (83 percent) step change in government preparedness for future crises,” the survey said.

Sixty-five percent of participants anticipate a moderate but positive change in the willingness of citizens to contribute towards government efforts.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

#COVID19 #ECONOMY #PANDEMIC

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