RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will continue its fiscal and structural reforms as the Kingdom is steadily embarking on its economic diversification journey in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030, said a top government official.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that continuous implementation of the ambitious plan is necessary for the Kingdom to catalyze its economic growth and maintain fiscal sustainability.
The minister added that the government program will help Saudi Arabia develop promising economic sectors, enhance investment attractions, stimulate industrial growth, raise the percentage of local content and promote non-oil exports, according to the pre-budget statement from the Ministry of Finance.
“The Kingdom continues to support social protection programs and shows continued progress toward the objectives of the Fiscal Sustainability Program,” said the ministry in the pre-budget statement.
It added: “These objectives were achieved by directing expansionary spending to accelerate the implementation of major programs, projects and sectoral and regional strategies to contribute toward gross domestic product growth, attract investments, and stimulate the local economy.”
According to Al-Jadaan, Saudi Arabia remained financially resilient over the past few years when the world faced economic headwinds for various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions.
He further pointed out that the Kingdom is well equipped with strong government reserves and sustainable levels of public debt that can accommodate any crises that may occur in the future.
The minister noted that Saudi Arabia’s agile nature of additional spending will help the Kingdom to have control in the medium term, allowing an extension of implementation periods for projects and strategies.
Al-Jadaan added that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is crucial as the Kingdom is pursuing its economic transformation program.
The Public Investment Fund has spearheaded this economic diversification journey by investing in various strategic sectors.
According to the fund’s annual report, it currently holds assets worth SR2.23 trillion ($595 billion).
The fund has established 70 companies, 25 of them, including Saudi Coffee Co. and Halal Products Development Co. were founded in 2022.
PIF’s annual report added that these companies offered 1,81,000 jobs in 2022.