RIYADH, Nov 4 (NNN-KUNA) — Saudi Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf has confirmed the Saudi economy ability to overcome the stage of oil price drop.
“Despite the decline of oil prices, the kingdom’s economy is growing,” Al-Assaf said in statements to the Saudi Alekhbariah News Channel late Tuesday, voicing confidence that the kingdom will withstand this challenge as it did in the past.
He added that the government is prepared for these circumstances as it reduced the level of debt and built up large reserves and will take other measures to tackle the financial challenges.
Moreover, he said the private sector is growing at good rates.
On fixing by Moody’s international agency of the credit rating of the kingdom at a high credit score of Aa3 while keeping the stable future outlook and commending the strength of the banking system in the kingdom, he said that Moody’s gave the kingdom this good assessment reflecting the truth.
This agency as well as Fitch before did not flatter the kingdom, confirming the strength and durability of the Saudi economy as the largest OPEC country and a member of the Group of Twenty.
He stated that Moody’s has shown that the evaluation of Standard & Poor’s was not based on objective grounds.
Al-Assaf indicated that the kingdom is always working to improve and diversify sources of income and economic base, and is keen to make efforts to improve the infrastructure, regulations, attract foreign investments and employment of nationals.
“The one who looks at the economic base finds that the Saudi economy has been growing during the past twenty-five years from 1990 to 2014, where the private sector’s growth rate was approximately 6 percent,” he said.
“It is growing at slightly lower that 6 percent, and this is a high rate, and in the other hand is the diversification of exports despite the fact that oil is still the main source of exports and revenues. In the same period of 1990 to 2014, non-oil exports grew annually by 12 percent, and this an excellent percentage.”
About the agreements signed Tuesday between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sudan in the presence of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and President Omar Al-Bashir, the minister of finance said that these agreements are related to projects of dams and the electricity sector, as well as drilling wells and irrigation canals.