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King Salman: Saudi Economy Possesses Sufficient Strength despite Challenges | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman puts his signature on the general budget for 2017 at a special Cabinet session in Riyadh, Thursday.

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia has announced its general budget of 2017, which was approved by the Saudi cabinet in its exceptional session held on Thursday in Riyadh and headed by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz who ensured that the Saudi economy is strong enough despite the current fiscal and economic challenges.

“We are determined to strengthen the components of our national economy and accordingly we adopted the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its executive programs in line with a comprehensive reform vision that would take the Kingdom to much broader and comprehensive horizons,” said King Salman.

“Our vision is not only a set of ambitions, but also executive programs so as to enable us to achieve our national priorities and opportunities for all through the strengthening and development of partnership with the private sector, in addition to raising the pace of coordination and integration among all government agencies, and to continue fiscal discipline, and promoting transparency and integrity,” the King added.

The King said that the government has sought, through this budget and its programs, to improve the efficiency of the capital and operational spending of the state, as well as to strengthen public finances and enhance its sustainability.

“We also gave priority to development projects and service programs that serve the citizens directly, and contribute to activating the role of the private sector and increase its contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP). We are optimistic in our ability to deliver, and then support the citizens of our country in order to achieve the desired economic well-being,” King Salman added.

In the same context, the Minister of Finance said the gross domestic product (GDP) of the kingdom for 2016 at constant prices would be SR2,581 billion, according to estimates of the General Authority of Statistics. He continued that the oil sector is expected to grow by 3.37 percent, the governmental sector 0.51 percent and the private sector 0.11 percent — The oil refining sector achieved a growth of 14.78 percent, the highest growth rate within the economic activities of the real total GDP.

He pointed out that the kingdom aims to strengthen its financial position and raise the efficiency of the governmental spending as well as to reach a balanced budget by 2020.

“Due to the measures taken in the field of spending, it is expected that the deficit will reduce in 2016 to SAR297 billion after reaching its highest level in 2015 of SAR366 billion. The deficit has been funded through borrowing from the domestic and international markets,” the minister said.