Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Importance and Establishment of Cultural Office
Why is Saudi Arabia strategically important to the world?
There are three reasons.
Firstly, Makka and Madina, two holy and precious places of Islam and the heart of the Muslim world are located at Saudi Arabia. Islam spread from Saudi Arabia and more than 2,000,000 pilgrimages visit Saudi Arabia every year. Every Muslim prays five times a day facing to Makka, and spiritually connects with Saudi Arabia.
Secondly, Saudi Arabia has the world largest oil reserves and greatest oil production capacity. World economy has been benefited from Saudi Arabia for a long time because of its stable energy supply to the world.
Lastly, Saudi Arabia is a political leader of the Arab Islamic world. It is proved that Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country participated in G20.
Why is Saudi Arabia urging human resource development now?
As 80% of national revenues depend on oil revenue, Saudi economy is adversely affected by the oil price change. To depart from oil-dependent economy, Saudi Arabia promotes industrialization and initiates various collaborative projects with foreign enterprises.
And therefore, Saudi Arabia needs capable human resources who can work for the diversification of Saudi economy.
For this urgent need, King Abdullah Scholarship Program was initiated in 2005. There are now 7 million students sent abroad to gain skill and knowledge in U.S.A., Canada, Australia, France and Germany.
Recently, in order to foster relationships with Asian countries, cultural office was established in Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2008.
The function of cultural office is not only student supports in foreign countries but cultural and educational activities as a whole to promote academic collaboration of Saudi universities with foreign universities and better understanding of Saudi culture.