Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Hamad Al-Sayari said at a banking conference in Riyadh yesterday that the Kingdom’s economic growth in 2005 is expected to exceed last year's increase of 5.3 percent. SAMA, he said, is also monitoring the rise in liquidity: last year, M-3 money supply rose 17.2 percent, and during the first quarter of this year alone, the increase was 5 percent. He gave assurances that inflation is not an issue.
Meanwhile, Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Amr Al-Dabbagh has reported the issuance, during the first three months of 2005, of 189 licenses for investment projects, both foreign and domestic, worth SR24 billion [U.S.$6.4 billion]. This figure is 828 percent higher than that for the same period last year. He confirmed that SAGIA has developed a large database on Saudi laws and regulations, and had reached agreements with government departments to find practical solutions to difficulties facing businessmen.