How will Saudi Arabia’s non-oil revenues be generated in 2018?

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The Saudi budget data released by the Ministry of Finance showed a steady improvement in the financial situation in Saudi Arabia compared to last year, where expenditure is estimated at 978 billion riyals, while the ministry estimated the revenues to amount to 783 billion riyals and achieve a deficit of 195 billion riyals.

The government’s efforts are seeking to speed up development and increase non-oil revenues through structural reforms of the economy, which are beginning to bear fruit. Data forecast that revenue from this category will rise 30 percent year-on-year as of 2018.

Non-oil revenues in Saudi Arabia's budget for 2018 were divided into two main categories: the first is “taxes”, which are expected to generate revenues of 85 billion riyals, and the returns from investments of the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Projected revenues

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance stated that the projected revenues from taxes on goods and services would generate around 85 billion riyals in 2018, boosting public budget revenues where non-oil revenues are estimated to account for 30 percent to support the largest spending in the kingdom’s history in the approved budget.


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The value added tax, which will be imposed by 5% at the beginning of January 2018, is expected to range between 1.5% and 2.5% of the Kingdom’s GDP to account for a range of 22 billion to 35 billion riyals annually, based on estimation and statistical figures.

The selective goods tax, which targets goods that are harmful to public health, the environment or luxury goods launched months ago, is expected to reach between 5 billion and 7 billion riyals by the end of this year after just 6 months of implementation.

With regard to expatriates’ fees, the expected revenues will rise from 1 billion riyals in 2017 to 24 billion riyals in 2018 to reach 65 billion riyals by 2020.

Informed sources predicted that the film sector would lead to an increase in the size of the media market, stimulate growth and economic diversification by contributing 90 billion riyals to GDP, creating more than 30,000 permanent jobs and more than 130,000 temporary jobs by 2030.

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