Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that Saudi “vitality” in recent years “had a positive impact on Dubai, which is witnessing an increase in activity.”
Meanwhile, Saudi’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih confirmed that “the Saudi expansion will attract all the ships in the region with it,” emphasizing the need for regional integration.
Saudi’s Minister of Economy and Planning, Faisal Al-Ibrahim, on the other hand, stated that the country’s attempts to diversify its economy are proceeding at a good pace and that oil earnings will aid in this endeavor.
The ministers’ comments came in response to a question about the regional competition at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, today during a session on Saudi’s economic prospects.
According to Al-Jadaan, Saudi has provided investors with three fundamental elements: credibility, predictability, and transparency.
He further explained that Saudi has established credibility through a series of reforms.
“In comparison to the past, the Kingdom has begun to improve its ability to forecast events, and transparency includes making data available to the public for information,” he stated.
He pointed out, “We are very mature from where we started. We have come a long way, with the financial sustainability program advancing in Saudi. We faced a dual shock from the Covid-19 pandemic and the drop in oil prices.”
He added “The goal of Vision 2030 was to diversify the economy,” noting that Saudi made difficult decisions, and continued its efforts to engage with the private sector and the general public, as well as to offer adequate support, and maintain focus, and discipline.
As for the US-Saudi relations, Al-Jadaan affirmed that Saudi “continues to nurture a robust relationship with the United States, despite what’s being reported in the media.”
For his part, Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih indicated that 30 percent of the Saudi population are expatriates who “play an important role in the economy,” noting that “Their number and quality will be increasing” over the coming years.
“The US is the greatest investor in Saudi,” he said, “But this does not stop us from diversifying our investments across the globe.”
Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Faisal Al-Ibrahim emphasized that Saudi’s attempts to diversify its economy are proceeding, and that oil revenues will help achieve goals in this regard.
The Saudi minister highlighted that Q1 of 2022 saw Saud’s GDP rise at its fastest rate since 2011, at 9.6 percent.
“The Saudi economy will grow by 7.4 percent this year,” he said, noting that the non-oil economy grew by 6.1 percent last year. “We aim to maintain these results,” he added.
Al-Ibrahim stated that the energy demand will continue, as all experts have predicted. He mentioned that Saudi is going to increase production capacity to a maximum of 13.4 million barrels of oil per day, underlining that this does not contradict what has been done towards climate change and emissions reduction.
“The Green Saudi Initiative, the Green Middle East Initiative, and the Kingdom’s objectives to meet 50 percent of its public utility demands with renewable energy by 2030… these are on track, and we can share more details on that later,” he added.
Moreover, he stressed that “The increase in oil earnings and activity will help achieve the targets faster and more efficiently,” and that Saudi will continue to work closely to diversify its economy.”