Zoom loses $100 billion of its market value

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Finance has begun to apply the spending cap regardless of oil price and revenue, Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said at the Financial Stability Conference on Thursday.

The purpose of having reserves and investments with the Public Investment Fund was to provide fiscal stability to government spending, Al Jadaan said.

Saudi Arabia has not faced any challenge in debt issuance even in the worst time of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

The health sector will not be fully privatized as a service provider, but parts of it, such as radiology, could be, Al Jadaan said. He emphasized the high cost of equipment underlying this decision.

Privatization will also continue in education and logistics and will intensify in the next phase.

The creditworthiness was not only important for the government and the national debt, but also for cost reduction, according to the Saudi minister.

There is a negative impact on the credit of the state affecting the private sector, so the government wants to ensure that these effects are avoided, Al Jadaan added.

Saudi Arabia’s direction is clear about being a global logistics hub, including rail and port networks, the minister said.

Ports are growing strongly, previously wasted opportunities have been activated and a large number of ports have been allocated to different types of services, Al Jadaan said.

“There are very big opportunities for the private sector,” he said.

Faisal Al Ibrahim, the economy and planning minister, said at the conference that the sources of growth depend on economic diversification.

Al Ibrahim argued that this requires strengthening, linking and attracting private sector investment in sectors that have been able to export products and services that are highly competitive and do not depend on the added value of oil.

With regard to the Saudi economy, he says the Kingdom has entered a period of economic recovery compared to last year.

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