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Saudi Arabia fortifies itself against external shocks with proactive measures in 2024 budget

Saudi Arabia has taken proactive measures to strengthen the capacity of its economy to cope with challenges and developments, and to ensure financial sustainability.

This is reflected in the figures of the preliminary state of the 2024 budget, through which the Kingdom targets revenues of 1.1 trillion SAR ($312 billion), against expenditures of around 1.2 trillion SAR ( 333 billion dollars), and a limited deficit. of SAR 79 billion ($21 billion), which represents 1.9 percent of GDP.

The non-oil sector is a fundamental driver of economic growth in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the major success of the economic diversification process, one of the main objectives of Vision 2030.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance forecasts growth in non-oil activities at a rate of 5.9% during the current year, noting that this rate reached 6.1% in the second quarter of 2023.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted the contribution of the non-oil sector to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, which has helped the Saudi economy achieve the highest growth rate among countries in the G20 in 2022.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also announced last week that the Saudi economy is witnessing an economic transformation after the implementation of several reforms aimed at reducing dependence on oil, diversifying sources of income and improving competitiveness.

Reform measures

Experts believe that the structural improvements undertaken by the government have favored the growth of domestic product in non-oil activities, which has had a positive impact on the performance of the country’s general budget.

In a speech to Asharq Al-Awsat, economist Ahmed Al-Shehri said Saudi Arabia has pursued effective reform and crisis containment policies, supported by financial abundance and high foreign exchange reserves. The Kingdom’s economy rests on solid foundations, as evidenced by the results of the general state budget in 2024.

Economic expert Ahmed Al-Jubeir told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government has implemented policies and reform measures to protect the economy from global crises.

He added that the policy of economic diversification and support for non-oil activities had a positive impact on the performance of the general budget.

Financial sources believe the expected deficit was due to increased spending in important sectors, such as defense, education and health.

In the preliminary statement of the 2024 budget, Saudi Arabia announced the continuation of its efforts to increase the efficiency of spending and financial control, the sustainability of public finances, the implementation of economic and financial reforms and the achievement of objectives of Vision 2030 and its plan. the main programs, initiatives and projects.

Local investment

According to the statement, the government will seek to raise the level of services provided to citizens and residents, in addition to promoting the growth of local investments by empowering the private sector and qualifying it to include all regions of the Kingdom.

He highlighted the proactive structural and financial measures adopted by Saudi Arabia to strengthen the capacity of its economy, which has improved the performance of the non-oil sector and increased the number of workers.

The government said all these measures would contribute to the growth of domestic product, attract investments and stimulate economic activity, while developing the performance of public finances by increasing financial space and building public reserves so as to strengthen the ability of the economy to cope with global crises. crises.

Economic diversification

Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the government would seek to implement structural reforms, aiming to develop and diversify the economy and increase growth rates while maintaining financial sustainability.

He highlighted the launch of numerous initiatives and strategies aimed at encouraging promising economic sectors, improving investment attraction, boosting industries and increasing the percentage of local content and non-oil exports.

Al-Jadaan stressed the importance of analyzing the financial and economic risks facing the country in order to develop effective policies and strategies.

According to the minister, preliminary estimates for next year point to real GDP growth of 4.4 percent, supported by non-oil activities, in a context where the sector is expected to The private sector continues to lead economic growth and help expand business opportunities and create jobs. in addition to improving the trade balance.

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