Eng. Ibrahim Al Omar, Governor of the General Investment Authority (SAGIA), has extended his congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques king Salman and Saudis, for announcing the largest budget in the Kingdom’s history (SAR 978 billion). The budget indicates that Saudi is advancing increasingly towards non-oil revenues and diversifying its economy.
Al-Omar went on congratulating on the success of the budget, which included the overall spending of 2018 as well as the spending of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that stood at SAR 133 billion in 2018.
He praised the government's success in reducing the budget deficit in 2017, despite the increase in expenditure from the declared figure, where the deficit amounted to SAR 230 billion, while expenditure rose from SAR 890 billion (expected expenditure) to SAR 926 billion (actual expenditure), and revenues in the budget of 2017 amounted to SAR 696 Billion riyals.
Al-Omar pointed out that the 2018 budget is moving toward achieving the Saudi 2030 Vision. The new budget recorded included the announcement of the largest non-oil revenues from 2015 to 2018 by 130% increase, while the expected expenditure for 2018 jumped to SAR 52 billion riyals to that spent in 2017, due to the economic reforms.
He also commented on the strong economy and the concerted efforts of the government to meet its people needs where it allocated spending on all services and developmental fields.
Al-Omar stated that there are 12 programs aiming at diversifying economy to steer away form oil dependency and move towards non-oil sector by 50% as well as reducing deficit and boost spending to over 13,3% compared to last year.
he also said that meeting the needs of a sustainable development is a key priority of the budget, in which it focused on education, training workforce, health, social development and all forms of infrastructures that include projects such as, establishing new desalination plants and other projects.
He also pointed out to the development path witnessed in Saudi and the steady level of spending despite declined oil prices. He labeled this path as a wise and balanced policy.
Al-Omar believed that the budget announcement coincides with the ongoing economic mobility that was reflected on creating an attractive investment environment for local and foreign investors as well as motivating private sector corporations, scaling up competitiveness and diversifying investment opportunities.
He also stated that SAGIA is working on boosting the private sector participation in GDP, to diversify economics and create jobs in the private sector.
“The financial support present in the budget for the private sector, outlines the Kingdom’s approach in developing regulations and infrastructure to attract the private sector.” He added.
He pointed out that the advent of international companies to invest in the Kingdom for promising opportunities in important sectors such as industry, mining, entertainment and other sectors will contribute to enhancing the GDP and raising efficiency. Operating and diversifying sources of income from outside the oil.
Al-Omar stressed on SAGIA’s approach that aims at enhancing procedures and the use of technology to automate the work systems. He also pointed out to that the advent of international corporations to invest in Saudi, due to several opportunities in industry, mining and entertainment, will highly boost the GDP and contribute in income resources other than oil.
Finally, he praised the role of the kingdom in supporting the private sector with SAR 72 billion, by an order from His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development.