Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf yesterday inaugurated a new service, the Saudi Exports Program, which is being launched by the Saudi Development Fund (SDF). Four years ago the Saudi government assigned SDF, which has contributed to the financing of over 350 development projects in some 60 countries, to finance the nation’s non-oil exports in addition to its traditional role.
Dr. Al-Assaf, who is Chairman of SDF, commented that the program comes within the framework of the efforts being exerted by the government to boost Saudi exports, and pointed out that the Fund had benefited from the expertise of many regional and international institutions, including the French company that has been nominated strategic partner for the program. The process of raising the rate of non-oil exports to 50 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP), he said, requires diversification of product and improvement in quality. He urged businessmen and industrialists to benefit from the Gulf Customs Union and the Arab Duty-Free Zone, and stressed the government’s support of the private sector in contributing to the development of the nation’s economy.