IMF experts’ positive forecast about Saudi Arabia welcomed

Mohammed Al-Jadaan

Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh — The Ministry of Finance welcomed the statement issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which forecast improving growth for the current year and over the medium-term as reforms take hold.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Tim Callen held discussions from May 2–14 for the 2018 Article IV Consultation with Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia is making good progress in implementing its ambitious reform program under Vision 2030,” said Callen.

“The government remains committed to wide-ranging economic and social reforms to transform the economy away from its traditional reliance on oil and to create a more dynamic private sector that creates jobs for the growing working age population,” he said.

“Growth is expected to pick-up this year and over the medium-term as reforms take hold,” Callen added.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the IMF team’s statement confirms the progress made by the government in implementing economic and structural reforms, especially in the light of the positive results of the first quarterly report on the performance of the general budget for the current year 2018.

IMF team leader Callen appreciated major progress made in implementing new revenue initiatives.

“Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a milestone achievement in strengthening the tax culture and tax administration of the country. The recent energy price reforms and the introduction of the citizens’ accounts are welcome,” he said.

“Reforms to strengthen the budget process and the fiscal framework, increase fiscal transparency, and develop macro-fiscal analysis are making good progress.

“Broadening the coverage of fiscal data beyond the central government would ensure a more complete assessment of the government’s impact on the economy,” Callen added.