Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi has stated that Saudi Arabia is “assessing all the options” to boost its economy after taking painful measures to offset a sharp decline in oil revenue and deep economic contraction caused by restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
“The impact of oil prices has affected Saudi Arabia’s revenue and like any other country we have to adjust,” Qasabi told Bloomberg TV in an interview. “The government is in continuous review of what is best for the people and the nation and its interests.”
Qasabi acknowledged measures like the hike in VAT would pressure people’s incomes, but said the government needed new revenue so it was not so dependent on oil. Tripling VAT was “painful in the short-term but it was needed at the time,” he said.
Asked if the government would consider lowering the duty in the future, he said it would “take actions to stimulate the economy and ensure steady growth.”
The trade system, during the past five years, continued its efforts to develop and improve the business and investment environment and facilitate the start of commercial work.
This they achieved through complementary partnerships by more than 50 government agencies, and with an effective partnership by the private sector to enhance Saudi Arabia's competitiveness globally and progress in international indicators to be among the ten most competitive countries in the world by 2030.
The Kingdom achieved a quantum leap in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business 2020 Index, jumping 103 ranks, from 141st in 2019 to 38th in 2020.