12/10/2017 09:22 AST

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the Kingdom is in the midst of an unprecedented economic transformation thanks to the Vision 2030.

He made the remarks in a speech at the Saudi Investment Forum hosted by J.P. Morgan in New York on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering of senior executives of Saudi and international financial companies, Al-Jadaan said the Vision represents a very clear roadmap for the Kingdom’s destination.

“We are currently seeing largescale reforms, including correcting energy prices, focusing on supporting small and medium enterprises, preparing government-owned companies for privatization, public-private partnerships and transforming the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world,” he said, highlighting the salient features of the economic reforms being witnessed in the Kingdom.

The minister lauded the Kingdom’s macroeconomic policy and its pivotal role in achieving the Vision in the light of the remarkable transformation witnessed by the Kingdom. He drew attention to the comprehensive reforms in various sectors in the Kingdom, including modernization and diversification of the economy in order to reduce dependence on oil.

Al-Jadaan stated that the business community in the Kingdom has begun to reap the fruits of these reforms through a more stable working environment and greater confidence for investors.

This is evidenced by the successful issuance of international and local debt securities in the Kingdom, he said, adding that the initial offering of international sukuk (Islamic bond) attracted great attention from international investors with an oversubscription reaching more than $ 33 billion against the actual issuance of $ 9 billion, which is the largest offering for sukuk in the world.

He said that there has been significant progress achieved by the Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program of 2020 towards the Kingdom’s stated goal - a balanced budget through financial reform.

“The steps being taken by the Kingdom are not merely an austerity, but rather a focus on raising the efficiency of expenditure and supporting the purchasing power of low and middle income segment of the Saudi society through the ‘Citizen’s Account’ in order to assist them in addressing correction initiatives of energy price, in addition to supporting the private sector," he said.

Al-Jadaan unveiled plans to further deepen and expand Saudi capital markets. “We will move ahead with the privatization program and will continue to encourage the growth of private businesses so as to achieve ambitious goals.

These businesses would create good investment opportunities and partnership with us to build a modern, diversified and flexible Saudi economy,” he added.

Saudi Gazette

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