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Saudi Press Agency

Minister of Finance: The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is moving forward towards promoting and sustaining economic growth

Saudi Press Agency

Monday 1441/4/12 - 2019/12/09

Riyadh, December 09, 2019, SPA -- Minister of Finance Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan confirmed the intention of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to move forward towards promoting economic growth and sustainability while ensuring the achievement of financial sustainability and adopting economic policies targeting the growth of non-oil output, improving the quality of basic services provided to citizens, raising the level of quality of life, supporting housing plans, raising the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending, especially social spending, while continuing to work to enable the role of the private sector in the economy, creating jobs and diversifying investment under the umbrella of the Kingdom's 2030 Vision's goals.

This came during a press conference held by the minister today at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Riyadh on the occasion of approving the state's general budget for the year 2020 AD, referring to what was stated in the statement of the state budget of the remarkable growth in various sectors of the economy during the year 2019 as the growth of private non-oil GDP reached 4.3% during the second quarter of the year, confirming that the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques continued to implement its strategic goals to diversify the economic base by creating an appropriate environment for investment in the promising sectors, and continuing to provide a stable economic framework and a favorable investment climate in addition to strengthening the legislative infrastructure, while strengthening the social protection network and empowering the private sector, and raising its contribution to growth and employment in the medium term.

The Minister of Finance praised the growth of a number of promising sectors during the second quarter of 2019, as the sector of wholesale and retail trade and restaurants and hotels grew by 5.8%, and the transport, storage and communications sector, which includes logistics and technical services, grew by 6.4%, and in the financial and insurance services sector and real estate growth rate reached 5.4%, while the collective and social services sector, which includes sports and entertainment, recorded a growth of 7.4%, in addition to the growth of the construction sector by 4.9%.

Al-Jadaan said, "The year 2019 witnessed the fruits of great efforts made by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince by government agencies and the youth and girls of the country in enabling programs and Vision of the Kingdom 2030 and providing services to citizens and empowering the private sector to take a greater role in economic development .

The Minister of Finance added, "We reaped the benefits of the spending efficiency program, as a result of which there was an abundance of government expenditures during the year in which we achieved control of deficit levels in the economic side, and there was very significant support and empowerment for the private sector, which contributed to the sector's massive demand for infrastructure projects that were proposed by the government in the mining, water, energy and wastewater treatment sector. This has resulted in a reduction in the level of government spending and the promotion of non-oil GDP growth well, especially with regard to the growth of GDP for the private sector.

Al-Jadaan referred to the announcement of the private sector non-oil purchasing managers' index "PMI index", indicating that it rose 58.3 points, which enhances the confidence of the private sector in the Saudi economy and thus contributes to attracting investment, as this is demonstrated by the great efforts made by the government towards enabling the private sector to participate in the pace of development and achieving the Kingdom's 2030 Vision.

The Minister of Finance confirmed that the "Citizen's Account" - "Almwatin Account" will continue until the end of the social protection program.

He said, "The government has reached advanced stages in achieving the goals of the Kingdom's 2030 Vision in achieving the development of the private sector and diversifying oil and non-oil revenues, indicating that the kingdom is witnessing a transformational journey and a very large economic diversification process, the most important of which is offering part of the shares of Saudi Aramco and re-investing the revenues of this offering through the Public Investment Fund to invest at home and develop the economy and provide more jobs and revenues.

He praised the qualitative leaps in the capabilities of youth during the past four years, in addition to the presence of huge national sectors that are sources for pride and a huge transformation journey according to the Vision of the Kingdom 2030, which requires very great competencies to have a polarization between the private sector and the public sector.

Al-Jadaan indicated that 20 projects will be launched in partnership with the private sector next year, on top of which are the water sectors, sanitation, education and health, and privatization of a number of services, in an effort to reduce the burden on public finances and raise efficiency in the private sector, especially as the privatization is a priority for the government.

He said that the government has made qualitative leaps in the digital transformation, by focusing on utilization of technology in many of the digital transformation programs to improve services, noting that at the end of last year, the Ministry of Health began launching the "Mawid" platform, which benefited 20 million beneficiaries in booking appointments through the app without having to go to the hospital.

23:27 LOCAL TIME 20:27 GMT

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