“We must reduce budget expenditures sharply”, Mohammed al-Jadaan said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV, adding that the impact of the new coronavirus on Saudi Arabia’s state finances will appear from the second quarter of the year.
Vast wealth and the promise of dramatic change make for cautious optimism concerning Saudi Arabia, the chief executive…100 Views | the publication reaches you by | Saudi Arabia Today
“Saudi finances need more discipline and the road ahead is long,” he said.
The world’s largest oil exporter is suffering from historically low oil prices, while measures to fight the coronavirus are likely to curb the pace and scale of economic reforms launched by Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s central bank foreign exchange reserves fell in March at their fastest rate in at least 20 years, hitting their lowest level since 2011, while the kingdom slipped to a US$9 billion (RM38.7 billion) budget deficit in the first quarter as oil revenue collapsed.
Jadaan said last month that Riyadh could borrow US$26 billion more this year while it would draw down up to US$32 billion from its foreign reserves to finance the deficit.
On Saturday Jadaan told Al Arabiya Saudi Arabia had used some revenue from investments to plug the deficit, and that the crisis presented investment opportunities.
Jadaan noted the country had introduced stimulus measures aimed at preserving jobs in the private sector and safeguarding the provision of basic services.
The project for the design, engineering and procurement of the new 400,000m3/day Jubail II seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO)…199 Views | the publication reaches you by | Saudi Arabia Today
Do you have information you want to reach our readers?