SAMA governor: Real GDP growth of 1.7% during 2016

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Governor Dr. Ahmed Al-Khulaifi speaks at a press conference at the SAMA headquarters in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 06 October 2017
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SAMA governor: Real GDP growth of 1.7% during 2016

JEDDAH: The governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) said that data show real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.7 percent during 2016 compared to a growth rate of 3.5 percent in the previous year.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Governor Dr. Ahmed Al-Khulaifi held a press conference on Wednesday at SAMA headquarters in Riyadh to highlight its 53rd annual report. During the conference, he reviewed the contents of the report.
“In terms of GDP growth by main economic activities in 2016, data show that growth in the manufacturing sector reached 3.9 percent. In the transport, storage and communications sector it reached 2.8 percent, while the electricity, gas and water sector reached 2.3 percent,” he said.
According to the data of the General Organization for Statistics, private consumption expenditure exceeded SR1 trillion ($266.7 billion) in 2016 (an increase of 5 percent over the year 2015). However, private consumption expenditure per capita increased 4 percent over the year 2015, he added.
With regard to price levels during 2016, the general cost of living index for the whole population increased by 3.5 percent compared to the previous year.
In regard to the external sector, he revealed that the current account recorded a deficit of SR103.3 billion in 2016 compared to a deficit of SR212.7 billion in the previous year, a decrease of 51.4 percent.
For the most important indicators for 2017, he revealed that the broad money supply (M3) achieved an increase of 2.4 percent at the end of August 2017 to reach SR1.795 billion compared to a decrease of 2.5 percent in August of the previous year.
The bank’s liabilities from the private sector in August of 2017 decreased by 1 percent to reach about SR1,422.3 billion compared to a rise of 7.5 percent in August of the previous year.
The total foreign assets of commercial banks in the first eight months of 2017 increased by 4.2 percent to reach SR235.3 billion.
Al-Khulaifi also said that deposits with banks increased by 2.6 percent (SR1,619 billion) in August 2017 compared to a decrease of 2.8 percent in August last year. The reserve assets stood at SR1,828.7 billion at the end of August 2017.
The general cost of living index in August 2017 decreased by 0.1 percent compared to an increase of 3.3 percent in the same period of the previous year.
Dr. Al-Khulaifi revealed that preliminary figures indicate a surplus in the current account balance of payments of the Kingdom during the first half of 2017 to reach about SR29.3 billion compared to a deficit of SR102.7 billion in the corresponding half of the previous year.


4 things you didn’t know about Saudi women’s rights

Updated 26 April 2018
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4 things you didn’t know about Saudi women’s rights

  • Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi Justice ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles
  • No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father

JEDDAH: Despite the great steps taken by the Saudi Ministry of Justice to give women a freer and more secure life, many Saudi women still do not have enough knowledge of their rights. 

Therefore, the ministry has started a campaign in cities all over the Kingdom to spread awareness among women of their legal rights. A female-only staff runs public exhibitions to enlighten them about how they are protected in different areas so they can lead their lives in a better way.

“We are using every possible channel to communicate with women to enlighten them about their rights, support them in all aspects to assure their ability to enjoy a secure rightful life,” said Majed Alkhamis, head of media and communication at the Ministry of Justice.

Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles. Despite all the obstacles, the ministry has succeeded in several areas.

A wife’s rights

The system not only grants the woman the right to sue her husband or ex-husband for alimony or acknowledgment of paternity, but it also allows any women legally living on Saudi soil, regardless of her citizenship or religion, to prosecute her current or former husband even if he is outside Saudi Arabia at the time of the lawsuit. Moreover, the new systems now support divorced women to a whole new level. For example, the system gives priority to a woman’s alimony over her husband’s personal debts.

Marriage agreements

No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father. This arrangement grants a woman the freedom to accept a marriage proposal without any influence or coercion. In addition, if a woman is not happy with her marriage, she is free to leave the house of marriage and walk out of the agreement with no law to force her to come back. If she chooses to abandon the marriage her right to alimony will be dropped, but she is still entitled to custody of the children.

No delays

The Ministry of Justice has designed a full female service within its courthouses. 

These services include advisory people who provide free consultations on everything. In addition, these departments support women at all stages up until the execution of any court order to avoid delays and procrastination.

Speedy justice

The law emphasizes the speedy execution of justice in women-related cases.