IMF Expects Saudi Economic Growth, Lauds Reforms
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded the positive economic reforms carried out by Saudi Arabia, describing initiatives that aim at increasing non-oil revenues as achievements.
Following discussions with Saudi officials, an IMF team led by Tim Callen reported that growth was expected to pick up this year and over the medium-term “as reforms take hold.” It also expected a progress in implementing the ambitious reforms within Saudi Vision 2030.
The fund reported considerable progress being made to improve the business climate. Recent efforts had focused on the legal system and business licensing and regulation. The public procurement law that is being updated had a key role to play in strengthening anti-corruption policies, said the IMF.
The IMF pointed out that the public sector in the kingdom can act as a motivator for development in some new sectors.
The Ministry of Finance welcomed the statement issued by the IMF which forecast improving growth for the current year and over the medium-term as reforms take hold. Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan said the statement confirms the progress made by the government in implementing economic and structural reforms, especially in the light of the positive results of the first quarterly report on the performance of the general budget for the current year 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil revenue climbed 63 percent in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in the previous year. Total revenues of the first quarter reached around SAR166.2 billion (USD44.32 billion), rising 15 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017. Non-oil revenues reached around SAR52.3 billion (USD13.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2018, rising 63 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017.