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Saudi Arabia Records Highest Growth Levels among the G20 Countries

Saudi Arabia Records Highest Growth Levels among the G20 Countries

Tuesday, 18 January, 2022 - 10:15
Flags of the G20 countries (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The IHS Markit Index predicted that the Saudi Arabian economy will record the highest growth levels among the G20 countries in the fourth quarter of 2021, a wide gap of about 4.5 percent from its closest competitor, Italy.

The achievement reflects the efficiency of the economic reforms taken by the Kingdom since the launch of its Vision 2030.

The positive figures come in light of the unlimited support and direct supervision of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, demonstrating the strength and efficiency of the economic reforms undertaken by the Kingdom since 2016.

The reforms had a significant impact on overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with minimal damage despite sharp declines in oil prices.

The high levels of growth of the Saudi economy come when many countries, including major economies, are still struggling to overcome the repercussions of the pandemic, which are no less than the effects of World War II.

Saudi Arabia's success in achieving great economic growth rates, outperforming G20 countries, is primarily due to the economic plan of Crown Prince Mohammed. It had a significant role in overcoming global challenges, namely the coronavirus pandemic and the decline in oil prices.

The Saudi GDP growth rate reached 7 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the highest annual growth rate since 2012.

It reflects the Kingdom's economic potentials for rapid recovery from the effects of the pandemic and the resumption of economic activities, benefiting from the exceptional efforts adopted by the government while tackling the challenges of the pandemic and the stimulus measures provided for the national economy.

The economic reforms implemented over the past five years by Saudi Arabia played a prominent role in economic diversification efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic left a significant economic impact on various vital sectors, especially employment.

The results achieved by the Saudi economy were in contrast to that wave, as the pace of Saudi employment in the private sector hit its highest quarterly level ever, according to administrative records, reaching 90,000 during the fourth quarter of 2021.

As a result of the effectiveness of the Kingdom's government policies in creating jobs for Saudis in the private sector, the number of Saudi workers in the private sector exceeded, for the first time, 1.9 million in December 2021.

Meanwhile, the rate of women's participation in the labor market continued to increase, bypassing the 2030 target as it reached 34.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021 due to the Kingdom's social and economic reforms.

The structural reforms witnessed by the Saudi economy and its main drivers, including a legislative environment and an improvement in the contractual environment, contributed to strengthening efforts to diversify the economy and accommodate tens of thousands of job seekers of both sexes.

As a culmination of the Kingdom's efforts to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil, non-oil exports amounted to $53 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 33 percent compared to the previous year.

Saudi Arabia was one of the best performing global economies during the pandemic where the decline in the GDP was minimal, with the Kingdom ranking sixth among the G20 countries when considering the non-oil activities as a determinant of economic performance in the Kingdom.

Economic observers and analysts expect the Saudi economy to continue to prosper, citing the budget surpluses for the first time since 2014, in addition to the expansion in the implementation of ambitious transformation plans and programs beyond 2022.

The economic boom and diversification of the economy will be achieved through several elements that will pump more than $320 billion by 2030.

Meanwhile, the ambitious strategy announced by the Crown Prince to stimulate the Saudi economy by pumping more than $320 billion until 2030, whether through a partner program, sovereign fund investments, or the national investment strategy, will have a considerable impact.

It will increase the competitiveness of the Saudi economy, placing it on top of the most important economies in the region and the most significant economies in the world.

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