His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense whos is also Chairman of the Economic and Development Affairs Council, lauded the lofty implications of the speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on the occasion of the issuance of the State Budget for the Fiscal Year 2020 and his keenness on the implementation of economic reforms.
HRH Crown Prince stressed that the stage of economic transformation adopted by the Kingdom’s government is progressing, at a steady pace, according to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as the budget has come to reinforce the commitment to implement reforms, plans and programs aimed at achieving what was included in the strategy, as it sets specific goals and multiple domains to achieve a vibrant society, a prosperous economy and an ambitious homeland.
He stated that the government is working to raise the standard of quality of life for the citizen, through efforts in developing and diversifying the economy, improving job opportunities and enhancing the effectiveness of government services, and that this be in light of financial and economic stability, which is the main pillar of sustainable economic growth.
HRH Crown Prince also clarified that the economic and structural reforms that have been implemented during the past three years have begun to make positive effects, on the actual financial and economic performance.
The Kingdom has, grace to God, recently achieved a remarkable increase in the real GDP growth rates of the non-oil sector, and the government has worked to enable the private sector to carry out its main role in the economy, with positive indicators and a number of business sectors registered distinctive positive growth, HRH Crown Prince elaborated.
The government has also implemented major projects in vital sectors and various activities that, with God’s help, will contribute to achieving the goals of economic activity and developing job opportunities for citizens, he said.
HRH Crown Prince stressed the importance of engaging with the private sector as a major and vital partner in development in the Kingdom, noting the ongoing reforms undertaken by the government in developing the business climate and creating an attractive environment for investors to contribute to promoting economic growth, resulting in a significant improvement in the Kingdom’s ranking, in terms of the international indicators concerned with competitiveness and easiness of doing business.
“We aim to create an attractive investment environment that contributes in directing the national economy towards wider prospects of diversification, growth and prosperity. The government will continue to move forward in implementing the stages of economic transformation and progress in diversifying the productive base in the economy while maintaining financial sustainability and providing wider opportunities for a better future for the current and upcoming generations,” HRH the Crown Prince said.
In a press statement following the announcement of the State’s General Budget for the fiscal year 1441/1442H (2020), HRH the Crown Prince stated that the government has a clear vision, firm goals and specific plans that we are working to make a progress in implementing them with maintaining financial and economic stability as an essential pillar of sustainable economic growth.
“The financial and economic results and indicators confirm that we are positively making progress and we are constantly reviewing and updating the implemented policies, procedures, and programs to ensure their effectiveness and correct their course whenever need arises in order to achieve the goals of the vision with taking into consideration the global financial and economic conditions and what is in the interest of the homeland and citizen,” HRH the Crown Prince said.
“Budget 2020 comes in light of a global economic climate that prevails challenges, risks and protectionist policies, which requires flexibility in managing the public finances and enhancing the ability of the economy to address these challenges and risks. We aim, through this budget, to take advantage of what has been achieved from programs and build on it, so that the balance is continued between the pace of economic growth rates and the maintaining of sustainable financial stability that ensures support for this growth,” HRH the Crown Prince.
HRH the Crown Prince asserted that the financial control policies and the development of public financial management as well as its efficiency contributed to continuing to reduce the budget deficit, adding that the deficit in 2019 is expected to reach about 4.7% of the GDP in comparison with (5.9%) in 2018 and (9.3%) in 2017, which confirms the continuation of efforts to ensure financial sustainability with progress in implementing projects and developing the private sector.
HRH the Crown Prince affirmed that the 2020 budget will continue to support programs to achieve the vision through contributing in financing major projects, developing the activities of medium, small and micro enterprises and supporting entrepreneurs that are among the most important engines of the economic growth, which will also diversify the economy and open new fields for investment and employment.
“Some of these programs and schedules are revised to implement them in order to ensure that they achieve the intended return, while continuing to develop and modernize the government infrastructure and services,” HRH the Crown said, stressing that the government focuses on raising spending efficiency and improving its quality to achieve the best use of the available State’s resources and the highest social and economic return as possible.
HRH the Crown Prince also pointed to Aramco’s IPO as a major step and supporter in enhancing the role and participation of the private sector in the economy, and that the prospects for opportunities for the private sector will increase during the coming period, enhancing its role in the growth and diversification of the economy and increasing employment rates in the medium and long term.
HRH the Crown Prince addressed the role of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the National Development Fund (NDF) in achieving the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision as it served as the local and external investment arm as well as the development arm of the local economy, contributing to the diversification of the economy and income sources.
He concluded that these are among the most important strategic goals the Vision seeks to achieve, as it emphasizes the complementary and enabling role of both PIF and NDF in support of the private sector.