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Saudi Arabia Welcomes IMF Praise over Financial Transparency

Saudi Arabia Welcomes IMF Praise over Financial Transparency

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 - 07:15
Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi Ministry of Finance (IMF) welcomed the International Monetary Fund's Executive Board’s statement on the 2019 Article IV consultation with Saudi Arabia, during the meeting of July 10.

The Board commended the Kingdom's progress made in implementing its agenda on fiscal, economic and social reforms. The statement reported that the reforms have begun to yield fruitful results and the prospects for the economy are positive.

The IMF, further, expects that real non-oil growth will rise to 2.9 percent in 2019 with an increase in government spending and a high level of confidence in the Saudi economy. The Board underscored that the government's continued implementation of economic policies and structural reforms will be key to promoting non-oil growth and create job opportunities for citizens and achieving the objectives of the authority’s Vision 2030 agenda.

The Board welcomed the reforms aimed at improving the public financial management, including the government procurement law, which will help raise the efficiency of government spending and reduce the risk of corruption in the procurement process.

The statement praised the efforts exerted to enhance the transparency of public finances and the reforms adopted by the government to develop the non-oil economy.

The board underscored that fiscal consolidation is key in order to rebuild fiscal buffers and reduce medium-term fiscal vulnerabilities, confirming that containment of government wage bill and increasing capital spending in a more measured manner would help achieve fiscal savings.

It highlighted the strength of the financial sector and the ongoing reforms in the Saudi financial markets – it also praised the ongoing efforts in the Kingdom to strengthen the AML/CFT framework and its recent accession to the FATF.

The Board commended the Government's commitment to join the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) by the end of the year.

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan said: "The statement confirms that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in implementing economic and structural reforms that have started to yield good results and that the outlook for the economy is positive.”

Jadaan added that the statement reflects the efforts exerted by the Kingdom at various levels. The government will continue with the efforts toward achieving its fiscal and economic objectives according to Saudi Vision 2030, with the aim of maintaining financial stability and strong economic growth, supporting further economic diversification, and raising the quality of life through various initiatives and programs, the minister continued.

He also confirmed the continued efforts by the Kingdom to further strengthen governance and develop the required procedures to ensure a robust financial sector.

Jadaan pointed out that the new Tendering and Procurement law will contribute to greater transparency and enhance regulation and governance of procedures related to government procurement in accordance with best global practices.

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