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Saudi Arabia expects to post lower deficit in 2021: Al-Jadaan
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 09 - 2021

RIYADH — Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia is expected to post lower deficit in 2021, after containing the financial and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
This will be backed by several initiatives to increase non-oil revenue, which rose from SR166 billion in 2015 to SR369 billion in 2020, Al-Jadaan said.
The minister said that Saudi Arabia has saved SR500 billion over the last four years until mid-2021, backed by its spending efficiency efforts.
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.
Moreover, the Saudi government focused on enhancing financial planning, as the annual variance of the actual performance of expenditure came below its forecasts, down from an average of 16 percent in the period from 2014 to 2016, to 4 percent in the period from 2017 to 2019.
Additionally, the Kingdom reported a significant leap in the digital transformation of the financial sector, which in turn, contributed to improving the efficiency and speed of financial services, Al-Jadaan added.
Saudi Arabia continued digitizing payments, recording 36 percent growth in e-transactions out of the total payments in 2019, exceeding the 28 percent target of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) in 2020.
"The Saudi leaders' efforts contributed to a gradual recovery of the Kingdom's economy during the last exceptional period, which witnessed a lot of concerted efforts and solid programs to address the pandemic."
"We have the right to be proud of Saudi Arabia's solid economy and its ability to overcome the COVID-19 fallout with high flexibility," Al-Jadaan said.
Saudi Arabia reported significant economic improvement. Non-oil economy grew from 0.2 percent in 2016 to 3.3 percent in 2019, reaching 5.4 percent in H1 2021, driven by a rise in private investments, better productivity and services.

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