Mohammed Bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince said on Wednesday that the 2023 budget surplus, forecast at 16 billion riyals, would be directed towards boosting government reserves, supporting state funds and strengthening the kingdom's financial position.
Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in remarks on state news agency SPA, stressed the leading role of the world's top oil exporter in stabilising energy markets as part of efforts to strengthen the stability of both the local and global economies and their growth.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it recorded its first annual budget surplus in nearly a decade, beating its own projections in a year of elevated oil prices.
The surplus for 2022 amounted to 102 billion Saudi riyals ($27 billion), representing 2.6 per cent of GDP, according to preliminary estimates, the finance ministry said.
That compared to a surplus of 90 billion Saudi riyals that had been projected for 2022 at the end of last year.
The world's biggest crude exporter also preliminarily recorded GDP growth of 8.5 per cent for the year, the finance ministry said, higher than the 7.6 per cent predicted by the International Monetary Fund.
The budget approved for 2023 foresees a surplus of 16 billion Saudi riyals ($4 billion) and GDP growth of 3.1 per cent, the ministry said.
The strong data comes as much of the world grapples with widespread energy shocks and deepening worries about recession.In a briefing with journalists in Riyadh on Wednesday, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pushed back on the notion that the surplus resulted from the Ukraine war.
Instead, he said it reflected investments the kingdom had made in its oil and gas sector as well as growth in non-oil sectors, as officials push the Vision 2030 agenda of economic diversification.
"We invested a lot of money when people did not," he said.
"We are not celebrating the surplus. For us it's not really big news. It's something that we expected. We've been working... to curtail our spending, to increase our non-oil revenues."
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman plans to visit South Korea this week as the two countries seek to bolster economic ties, officials in Seoul said on Monday.
According to the SPA state news agency, Saudi Crown Prince also visited the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Japanese Emperor Naruhito welcomed him at the palace on Tuesday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, his office said on Thursday.
Attended by Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability, the UAE Circular Economy Council convened its meeting, presided over by Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment to discuss ‘Year of Sustainability’ initiatives and COP28.
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched the ‘Tax Support’ initiative to raise tax awareness among business sectors in the UAE through direct and sustained contact, as a means to enhance compliance with tax laws and regulations. The first workshop for 2023 under the initiative was held on Jan.24 and 25 as a collaboration
US consumer spending fell for a second straight month in December, putting the economy on a lower growth path heading into 2023, while inflation continued to subside, which could give the Federal Reserve room to further slow the pace of its interest rate hikes next week.