Saudi non-oil growth shows economy rebounding strongly post-COVID-19
Saudi Arabia is recovering strongly from the COVID-19-prompted economic slowdown and registered a non-oil economic growth rate of 5.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the Kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan.
Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product grew at a revised rate of 12.2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the fastest since 2011, the latest report from the General Authority for Statistics released on Wednesday revealed.
While speaking at the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh on Sept. 7, the minister added that the International Monetary Fund expects the Kingdom’s economy to increase by 7.6 percent in 2022.
“The Kingdom is also the only country in the Group of Twenty that has upgraded the International Monetary Fund’s forecast for its growth twice in the world in 2022, with the expectation that the high rates of its GDP growth will continue for the coming years and years,” he further said.
According to the finance minister, the pandemic crisis was handled effectively, through heavy investments within the Kingdom.
He noted that Saudi Arabia’s financial technology strategy seeks to raise the number of fintech firms in the Kingdom to 230 by 2025.
The minister further added that Saudi Arabia aims to increase its share of non-cash transactions to 70 percent by 2025.
Al-Jadaan pointed out that venture investments in the Kingdom during the first half of the year grew 244 percent compared to the first half of 2021.
During the event, Mohammed ElKuwaiz, chairman of the Capital Market Authority, said Saudi Arabia is aiming to become one of the 15 largest economies in the world by 2030.
Elkuwaiz noted that Saudi Arabia should intensify investment rates, and should transform itself from a money-exporting country to a money-importing country.
He added that the national investment strategy and Shareek program which was launched last year has brought about changes in the Kingdom’s economy and is attracting foreign investments.
Post the opening of the Saudi stock market to foreigners, international investments in the Kingdom reached SR400 billion ($106 billion) — equivalent to the entire market capitalization 20 years ago, according to Elkuwaiz.