Saudi Arabia’s finance minister, Mohammad Al-Jadaan, said in an exclusive interview with Al-Arabiya television that non-oil output would grow 2.9% to 3% this year.
Al-Jadaan said also that the total spending grew 6.3% in the first half of 2019, and non-oil revenues rose 14.4% over the same period.
Al-Jadaan added that budget revenues would not be affected by Aramco’s terrorist attacks.
• Al-Jadaan ruled out raising the VAT in 2020
“Aramco’s terrorist attacks have no impact on the financial and economic aspects,” the Saudi finance minister said.
Al-Jadaan announced on the sidelines of the opening of the 14th session of Euromoney conference that the budget deficit, in the first half of this year, decreased by 86% to SAR5.7bn compared to a deficit of SAR41.7bn in the same period last year.
On VAT, Al-Jadaan said, “I do not expect the VAT to increase in 2020, and we must coordinate with the GCC on this tax”.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is likely to enter the global debt market before the end of the year, according to Al-Jadaan.
Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia is planning to issue sukuk (Islamic bonds) in dollars, depending on market requirements and conditions.
With regard to Aramco’s IPO, Al-Jadaan said that the IPO is going as planned and is likely to take place in the next 12 months.