Minister of Finance stresses the strength of the Saudi economy

April 3, 2009

Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf offered assurances regarding the strength of the Saudi economy during a joint press conference in London last night with the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), Dr. Mohammed Al-Jasser.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been in continuous economic recovery and the situation will improve for the better over the next year," said Dr. Al-Assaf. He added as a result of the economic policies pursued by the government with regard to its investment program and the diversity of local economic activities, "the Saudi economic growth has not been greatly affected by the economic crisis like other countries."

Dr. Al-Assaf observed that Saudi Arabia has adopted a Program of Investment and Development in Governmental and Monetary Sectors, which will have a fund of about $400 billion over five years. According to a study by the International Fund, which examined the economic policies of the G-20 countries, the Saudi program for investment in infrastructure and other programs is the largest in the group. The study noted that for three years the Kingdom has allocated about ten percent of its gross domestic product to the program.

Finally, Dr. Al-Assaf denied reports by world news agencies that the Kingdom has provided $ 90 billion to the International Monetary Fund, calling the claims baseless.

For his part, Dr. Al-Jasser reported that the Kingdom has joined the Council of Financial Stability (formerly the Financial Stability Forum), which is entrusted along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to monitor financial sectors around the world.

He also noted that the Saudi financial sector has not suffered any serious problems and does not need re-capitalization or bailout operations.