Saudi Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jadaan revealed that the Kingdom made tangible progress in economic diversification, citing an increase in the growth rates of the non-oil economy from about 0.2 percent in 2016 to about 3.3 percent in 2019, reaching nearly 5.4 percent in H1 2021.
Jadaan noted that the authorities' efforts contributed to the gradual recovery of the Saudi economy in containing the financial and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic through plans, programs and policies aimed at facing risks.
Speaking on the occasion of Saudi National Day, he stressed that the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the National Center for Government Resources Sys., facilitated financial transactions for the public and private sectors.
The Etimad application received over 623,000 payment orders, worth more than $153.3 billion. It completed exchange procedures worth $151.6 billion within 15 days, representing more than 98 percent of the value of the payment orders received.
The volume of trading in the local secondary debt markets increased by more than $18.6 billion in 2020, and the indirect lending initiative contributed to financing small and medium enterprises.
Jadaan stated that the initiative to support the sustainability of companies and the initiatives of the Projects Support Fund contributed to supporting private sector facilities to enhance their role in the economic system to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030.
Since the launch of Vision 2030, the state's public deficit was reduced from 15.8 percent in 2015 to 4.5 percent in 2019.
Saudi Arabia is expected to lower the deficit in 2021 after containing the financial and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jadaan said Saudi Arabia had saved SR500 billion over the last four years until mid-2021, backed by its spending efficiency efforts.
According to the Minister, the privatization project is proceeding according to plan, as 17 sectors and 176 initiatives were identified, 32 of which were launched and 18 others awarded to relevant companies.