Broader horizons of economy
The 54th annual report, issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and received by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, highlighted the Kingdom's most important economic and financial developments in 2017. These developments included a variety of economic reforms and programs in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and its development programs that meet the aspirations of Saudi citizens. They also confirm the ability of our economy to move to broader horizons, and its success in adapting to the variables, in addition to the strength of the financial and banking sectors.
SAMA's annual report included several positive statistical indicators, most notably the non-oil GDP growth of 1.05%, the current account surplus of SR 57.1 billion in 2017 against a deficit of SR 89.4 billion in 2016, and the improvement of the Kingdom's total commodity exports in 2017 with 83 SR 1.9 billion compared to SR 688.4 billion, at an increase of 20.8%, compared to a decline of 9.8% in the previous year.
This comes in addition to several indicators that confirm the success of SAMA in managing and implementing the monetary policy and maintaining the stability of the exchange rate of the national currency against the US dollar, the growth of the financial system and ensuring its integrity to play its important role in the economy.
The positive figures presented by the report are not surprising. Since its pursuit of the development track which is represented in Vision 2030, which aims to diversify sources of income, reduce dependence on oil, and shift towards a diversified economy, the Kingdom has been achieving many positive indicators towards enhancing economic growth, achieving financial sustainability and keep going in a balanced pace of the government's spending growth and raising its efficiency. The Kingdom has also been restructuring and regulating the economy and updating regulations and legislations so as to enhance the level of efficiency and competitiveness of the economy and achieve the developed environment that attracts domestic and foreign investments.
It is hoped that the local economy will continue to adapt gradually to the reforms adopted in the past period. This will encourage the private sector to continue its growth and development and to invest in the new sectors that are in the focus of the Vision 2030, so that the private sector would become the motivator and operator of the local economy sectors.
This orientation is supported by the efforts exerted by the Saudi Arabian government to raise the efficiency of the economic performance and optimize the utilization of available resources. The new economic orientation contributes to the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and its various programs, especially since the official data indicate that the Saudi economy has started to recover since the first quarter of this year.