To effectively address national challenges, countries around the world use think tanks to gear up such tools as help overcome them. There are 6500 think tanks worldwide; around 3000 in developing world, 1500 in Asia, and the rest in Middle East, Africa and South America. There is an increased investment into think tanks to drive the development and design of socioeconomic policies.

Many think tanks primarily deal with information exchange, while others work as development gateways or as hubs to bring together policy-makers and researcher on particular socioeconomic issues. Accordingly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to establish a national center for strategic development to be the premier government think tank and help in the national development process.


In the process of its establishment, the Center for Strategic Development passed through five stages:


Following the Korean Knowledge Sharing Program, a recommendation was made to set up a center to study national economic issues.

2013 - 2014

Assess the feasibility of establishing a Saudi economic Think-Tank

Issuing the Decree of the Supreme Economic Council to establish a national center for strategic development

Concept Approval

The Center for Strategic Development project was submitted by the Ministry of Economy and Planning. 

The Center for Strategic Development project was approved by the Royal Court.

Official Establishment

Working group from the Ministry of Economy and Planning was created to establish Center for Strategic Development. 

Initial operating model was developed

Official articles of associations were issued, and budget was allocated under the National Transformation Program

2017 - 2018
Build Up

Developing an integrated strategy and Research Agenda for the Center for Strategic Development.  

Approval of bylaws and organizational structure

Institution-building initiated

Established by virtue of the Cabinet Decree No. (364), dated Ramadan 1st, 1437 A.H., the Center for Strategic Development is established as an independent Saudi National Socioeconomic Think-tank engaged in Policy-oriented research and advice, with a well-defined mission to empower decision-makers by providing rigorous socio-economic analysis informed by a diverse knowledge network.

The Center for Strategic Development has an independent legal status, reports directly to His Excellency the Minister of Economy and Planning and provides its advisory services to the public and private sectors according to the adopted regulations.

The Center for Strategic Development is designed to effectively enhance the development process of the national economy by identifying actionable objectives, policies and programs to ensure economic development within local and global parameters, effective implementation of economic development policies and plans, and providing the necessary advisory services and studies to public and private sectors to address the relevant development issues.

Role in Vision 2030
Given its mission to empower decision-makers by providing rigorous socioeconomic analysis based on a diverse knowledge network, local and international partnerships, the Center for Strategic Development will:

  • Have an effective role in providing an independent and forward-looking vision.
  • Support and empower decision-makers by providing strategic advice and the right analysis in various development disciplines.
  • Provide analysis and recommendations on comprehensive policy and its impacts.
  • Share knowledge with Vision 2030 stakeholders to enable the Vision programs and their realization.