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Saudi officials hold webinar to discuss IMF 2021 Article IV Consultation report

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Officials from Saudi Arabia held a webinar to discuss the recent conclusions regarding the IMF’s 2021 Article IV consultation report which lauded the Kingdom’s recent economic reforms including the participation of Saudi females in the job market and reforms to the Kafala sponsorship system.

Released earlier this week, the IMF said strong reform momentum is continuing in Saudi Arabia, especially the rapid increase in labor market participation of Saudi females and reforms to the Kafala sponsorship system for expatriate workers.

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“The rapid increase in labor market participation of Saudi females and reforms to the Kafala sponsorship system for expatriate workers are very important to boost growth, productivity, and household incomes,” the IMF said in its report.

“Further, the program to codify legal practices, the PPP/asset sales program, the deepening of the domestic capital markets, reforms for e-government and to harness the potential of digitalization, and the support to SMEs and entrepreneurs are all important to support a more diversified and inclusive recovery,” the IMF added.

A set of institutional and public financial management reforms enhancing efficiency and discipline in fiscal planning and execution were key to achieving strides in non-oil revenues for the Kingdom, according to Abdulaziz M. Alrasheed, Assistant Minister for Macro Fiscal Policies and International Relations.

The IMF said while central government fiscal consolidation will be a drag on growth, it is expected to be offset by higher Public Investment Fund investment and strong private demand.