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Ministry of Finance Welcomes Executive Board of the IMF Statement on Article IV Consultations for 2019

Riyadh, The Ministry of Finance welcomed the statement issued by the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), regarding the Article IV consultations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at a meeting held, on 10 July 2019.

The board commended progress made by the Kingdom, in terms of implementation of the financial, economic and social reforms. The reforms are beginning to bear fruit, it added.

IMF expects that non-oil real growth will rise to 2.9% in 2019 with increased government spending and a high level of confidence in the Saudi economy, stressing that government's continued implementation of economic policies and structural reforms, will be a key factor for promoting non-oil growth and achieving the government's goals, set out in the agenda of Vision 2030.

Welcoming reforms aimed at improving the management of public finances, including the government procurement system, which will help raise the efficiency of government spending and reduce the risk of corruption in the procurement process, the board also praised the efforts exerted to enhance transparency of public finances and reforms adopted by the government to develop non-oil economy.

To rebuild fiscal surpluses and reduce the risks to public finances in the medium term, the board stressed containment of the government wage bill and increase in capital expenditure, in a systematic manner, as it would generate financial savings in this year.

Noting the strong financial sector and the ongoing reforms in the Saudi financial markets, the board praised the ongoing efforts in the Kingdom to strengthen the framework of fighting laundry and combat terrorism, and the Kingdom recent admission to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Board commended the Government's commitment to join the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) by the end of the year.

Commenting on the statement of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Minister of Finance Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan said: "The statement confirms that the Government of the Kingdom has made good progress in the implementation of economic and structural reforms, and that these reforms are bearing fruit and are reflected in economic performance and that the board outlook for the Saudi economy is positive."

The statement reflects the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of reforms, at various levels, the minister remarked, stressing that the government is working to achieve the financial and economic targets in accordance with the vision of the Kingdom 2030, which maintains financial stability, achieve high economic growth rates, support economic diversification, and raising of living standard through specific initiatives, programs and projects that contribute to realizing these objectives.

Referring to the Executive Board's endorsement of the Government's reforms, including measures to support financial sustainability, financial markets and the expansion of financial services, implementation of legislations and measurements for fighting laundry and combat terrorism funding, and implementation of them at all levels, in government institutions and other relevant sectors, in the Kingdom, the minister stated that all these steps have contributed to the Kingdom admission to (FATF).

The Minister of Finance concluded, pointing out that the new competition and procurement system will contribute to achieving greater transparency, regulation and governance of procedures related to government procurement, according to the best practices, in place, globally-speaking.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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