Despite depression of oil prices, Saudi economic outlook good
Saudi Arabia, Economics, 9/29/1998
Saudi Minister of Finance and National Economy Ibrahim al-Assaf has asserted that despite the decrease in oil prices and the world economic crisis, the Saudi economy is expected to undergo a strong revival led by the private sector with an expected inflation rate reduction this year and for the immediate future.
In statements he made on Sunday in Washington to the US - Saudi business center, the Saudi minister added "Such positive vision reflects several elements, namely the mature private sector, its reduced dependence on government expenditures as well as the efforts made by the government to maintain privatization."
The Saudi minister added that his country is privatizing communications and port services. He added that Saudi Arabia is also making efforts to orient the organizational framework for economic activity in Saudi Arabia, in parallel with amending laws of companies, taxes and investments in the country.
He explained that all these efforts aim at finding a proper atmosphere for local and foreign investments alike. However, estimates of the US Department of Energy indicate that the recession in oil prices has reduced Saudi oil export revenues by one third during this year to US $29.4 billion. Oil exports constitute 75% of the country's total revenues.
Meanwhile, in his meeting in Washington with officials representing the main US oil companies, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz discussed oil issues and efforts that can be made by these US companies in the oil sector in the Kingdom.
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