Saudi Arabia is set to spend SR1.02 trillion ($272 billion) next year as the Kingdom’s economic and social reform agenda accelerates. The budget predicts revenue of SR833 billion and a deficit of SR187 billion. King Salman announced the figures at a cabinet meeting in Riyadh. Announcing the budget breakdown in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that while spending next year would be less than in 2019, the government would continue its focus on developing the private sector.
We will continue to support big projects and will continue to support promising projects, he said. “ Enabling the private sector is the top priority of Vision 2030. The budget takes place against a backdrop of quickening reforms in 2019 and a number of key events from the $1.7 trillion initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest share sale, to the creation of fast track tourism visas.
The finance ministry hosted a visit of international investors to coincide with this year’s budget announcement which included a trip to the Al-Turaif UNESCO heritage site, one of a number of sites around the Kingdom that are attracting investment as it opens up to overseas tourists. While reducing the Kingdom’s dependence on oil revenues is a key part of the Vision 2030 reform agenda, the commodity remains the principal driver of spending trends for both Saudi Arabia and other Arabian Gulf oil-exporting nations.
They have been coordinating production cuts since 2017 through the OPEC+ group of producers that includes Russia, in an effort to keep the market in balance amid surging output from US shale producers.
Last week the Kingdom spearheaded an agreement between the OPEC+ group of exporters to commit to further output cuts to help avert an oversupply of oil on the global market.