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Economic reforms boosted Saudi non-oil growth - Crown Prince

Economic reforms boosted Saudi non-oil growth - Crown Prince
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman

Riyadh – Mubasher: Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, commended the 2020 state budget, which was approved on Monday by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“The 2020 Budget comes in light of a global economic climate that prevails challenges, risks and protectionist policies, which requires flexibility in managing public finances and enhancing the economy’s resilience to address these challenges and risks.”

Saudi Arabia is going through a stage of economic transformation and the new budget reinforces the commitment to implement reforms, plans and programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, said the Crown Prince, according to a statement cited by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Prince Mohammad, who is also the Minister of Defense and the Chairman of the Saudi Economic and Development Affairs Council, noted that various economic and structural reforms took place in Saudi Arabia over the past three years, as evident by the remarkable increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of the non-oil sector.

The budget statement estimates a 3.4% growth rate in private non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) during the second quarter of the year. Meanwhile, the medium-term revision of real GDP growth rate projections has indicated a real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2020. Growth is expected to continue at the same pace over the medium term, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Saudi government is working to raise the standard of living and quality of life for all its citizens by diversifying the economy, improving job opportunities and enhancing the effectiveness of public services, in light of financial and economic stability, which is the main pillar of sustainable economic growth, the Prince further noted.

Budget deficit in 2019 is expected to reach about 4.7% of GDP, compared with 5.9% in 2018 and 9.3% in 2017, which confirms the continuation of efforts to ensure financial sustainability with progress in implementing projects and developing the private sector, he emphasized.

The Crown Prince stressed the importance of engaging with the private sector as a major and vital partner in economic development in the Kingdom, pointing to the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco as a major step and supporter in enhancing the participation of the private sector.

 “We aim to create an attractive investment environment that contributes to directing the national economy towards wider prospects of diversification, growth and prosperity. The government will continue to move forward in implementing the stages of economic transformation and progress in diversifying the productive base in the economy while maintaining financial sustainability and providing wider opportunities for a better future for current and upcoming generations,” Prince Mohamed stated.

The Crown Prince referred to the role of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the National Development Fund (NDF) in achieving the Saudi 2030 Vision goals.