Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan announced that, despite the challenges the world has faced in recent years, the Saudi economy has emerged stronger than ever, with the Kingdom’s GDP growth expected to reach 7.6 percent by the end of 2022.
Al-Jadaan sponsored today the opening of the 2022 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, which will be held in Riyadh under the slogan “Institutionalization of Investment and Finance,” and will be attended by a group of senior industry leaders and financial sector experts from both the local and international levels.
During his opening speech at Euromoney, Al-Jadaan emphasized that the Saudi economy is stronger than ever, despite the challenges the world has faced in recent years, with the non-oil economy growing by 5.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022. GDP increased as well by 11.8 percent during the same time period.
He explained that the International Monetary Fund expects GDP growth to reach 7.6 percent in 2022, noting that Saudi is the only country in the Group of Twenty to have upgraded the Fund’s growth forecast twice in 2022, with the expectation that high rates of GDP growth will continue in 2023 and in the long run.
In addition, he stated that Saudi’s goal is for the private sector to contribute 65 percent of GDP by 2030.
He also emphasized that the Kingdom is continuing to implement vision programs, implement reforms, and broaden the economic base.
According to the Minister of Finance, the Kingdom is looking for a strategy to increase the number of financial technology companies operating in it to 230 and increase the share of non-cash transactions to 70 percent within a year.
In terms of the sustainable economy, Al-Jadaan emphasized at the Euromoney event that the Kingdom is moving at a rapid pace to meet the challenges of climate change, aiming to achieve zero emissions neutrality by 2060 and launching a package of initiatives that will contribute to reducing carbon emissions by more than 278 million tons annually.
Moreover, Saudi is seeking to increase renewable energy production capacity with the goal of providing 50 percent of electricity production within the country by 2030. The Kingdom is also implementing energy efficiency programs and investing in clean hydrocarbon technology projects.
Furthermore, in order to boost green economic growth, Saudi announced investments totaling more than 700 billion riyals, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 which aims to create quality job opportunities and provide massive investment opportunities for the private sector.
In terms of labor market statistics, the Minister of Finance stated that the unemployment rate among Saudis fell to its lowest level in ten years, reaching around 10.1 percent in Q1 2022, compared to around 11 percent in Q4 2021.
He further explained that the government was able to keep inflation rates much lower than most countries around the world, with an average rate of about 2.1 percent until July of this year.