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Saudi Crown Prince: Economic reforms contributed to reducing budget deficits

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has affirmed that the economic and structural reforms in the national economy are progressing toward achieving the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 aimed at diversifying the economy and achieving stability, economic and financial sustainability, as well as stimulating the private sector and improving the living standards of citizens.

“This year’s budget continues to improve the efficiency of public financial management and to promote economic stability and financial sustainability,” he said in a press statement following the announcement of the state budget for the fiscal year 2019.

He explained that financial stability is a fundamental pillar of economic progress and growth, and that reforms and economic initiatives implemented over the past two years have directly contributed to reducing the budget deficit rates in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by (12.8%), (9.3%) and 4.6%) respectively with annual spending increasing.

He further stressed the effectiveness of these reforms and initiatives through their clear impact on raising the indicators of growth of the national economy during the last period.

He pointed out that according to the state budget statement, real GDP growth is expected to reach 2.69% compared to 2017 and 2018 by (0.9%) and (3.2%) respectively. He said: “The positive financial results reflected in the budget indicators are part of the pursuit of financial sustainability in the medium term according to Vision 2030”.

He added that the government is continuing to diversify revenue sources and enhance financial sustainability by increasing non-oil revenues, which rose from SR 127 billion in 2014 to SR 287 billion in 2018 while a projected 313 billion riyals in 2019, citing the Saudi Budget 2019 report.

The crown prince then said that social spending represents about 42% of the total expenditure in the budget and stressed the importance of developing and modernizing the infrastructure and government services, noting the efforts of raising the efficiency of financial management.