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‘Saudi Arabia is seeing results of sweeping reform program’

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Time: March 01, 2019   

Mohammed Al-Jadaan

JEDDAH — “Saudi Arabia is already seeing the results of its sweeping reform program and would continue to diversify its economy and open its borders for investment,” said Saudi finance minister in an exclusive interview to CNBC.

Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation strategy aims to increase investment, diversifying the Kingdom’s economy away from a reliance on oil, and create private-sector jobs.

Addressing the concerns over budget deficit, Al-Jadaan said: “Well, my concern is to ensure that we continue implementing on Vision 2030, and we are, and we are seeing results. We — despite all that you hear, here and there — we have the fifth-largest foreign (exchange) reserves in the world.”

“We have significant reserves. We have significant wealth, we have a significant economy that is growing. We are the largest economy in the region, and we are seeing the results of the reform taking place,” he said at an event in London on Thursday.

Al-Jadaan said growth had turned positive by the end of last year and he was “looking for more growth in 2019.”

“We’re diversifying our economy significantly, we are opening our border to more investments from the world, and we’re opening a lot of local industries and tourism, entertainment industries — mining all of these are bringing a lot of jobs. There’s a time lag all the time when you engage in a significant reform. But … we are seeing the results actually happening as we speak,” he said.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

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