RIYADH: Privatization and encouraging PPPs remain a key element of Saudi Arabia’s move away from oil dependency, Ismail Alani, head of government and public sector at KPMG Saudi Arabia, told Arab News.
“Saudi Arabia’s $264 billion budget announcement for 2021 is a recipe for economic recovery, support to businesses and correction of markets. The budget reaffirms a boost of business confidence, with a government that is preparing for post-pandemic recovery and achieving fiscal sustainability,” he said.
“The Kingdom and its leaders have bravely faced the pandemic shock on the economy in 2020 and showed resilience. The government was quick to adopt all necessary measures that support economic recovery and prepare health and safety precautions for the people in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
“The budget statement reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fiscal sustainability and spending efficiency over the medium-term, a trend that will be supported by efforts to contain costs, for example via efficiency gains, and continued determination to increase non-oil revenues. Privatization and encouraging PPPs will remain a key element of the Vision 2030 goals, measures that have been given additional impetus by the rise in public debt.
“Falling oil prices have pushed the economy toward diversification. Saudi Arabia hopes OPEC and OPEC+ will restore the stability of the oil market. COVID-19-related stimulus measures are likely to be eased further in 2021 as the domestic economy continues its recovery, but the government will maintain fiscal flexibility as insurance against additional domestic and international economic shocks. The PIF serves as a strong standby option to come in and support the economic correction. With the advent of successful COVID-19 vaccines, the Kingdom is on the road to a vigorous economic recovery,” he said.