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Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

Minister highlights growth of Saudi economy as ranking highest among G20 countries

Majid Al-Qasabi, the Saudi minister of commerce, and Majid Al-Hogail, minister of municipal and rural affairs and housing, on Monday reviewed some of the important developments and achievements in the Kingdom during 2022.
Speaking in Riyadh during the latest briefing by the Center for Government Communications, Al-Qasabi said: “Our economy is the highest among G20 countries, and the Kingdom ranked first in terms of ease of starting a business.”

A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, published in October last year, stated that Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product growth was expected to reach 9.9 percent, the highest level among G20 nations.

Al-Qasabi added that the Kingdom is a major contributor to humanitarian aid efforts and had already pledged “more than SR324 million” ($86.4 million) to help those affected by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkiye last week.

Summarizing the achievements of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year, Al-Qasabi said the prince undertook more than 10 international visits, received visits by 65 leaders, and launched 21 projects and strategies.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom hosted 26 international conferences, 15 international sporting events, and won 94 international scientific awards, he added.

Commenting on the high prices of automobiles, Al-Qasabi said: “There is no truth (to allegations of) limiting the import of cars to authorized agents. There are global challenges in production, shipping and supply chains.”

To prevent possible violations of the rules, he added, the Ministry of Commerce has launched an initiative that tracks new vehicles from their arrival in the country until licenses are issued for them.

He invited anyone aware of any breaches of regulations to file a report by calling 1900, or through official online systems and apps.

Al-Hogail discussed a number of issues including the supply of real estate, housing loan facilities, improvements to the urban landscape, and the effects of heavy rain.

Regarding efforts to provide housing solutions for people most in need, he said: “8,000 families were served through the Ehsan (charitable) platform.”

The ministry provided 30,000 housing units in 2022 for families in greatest need and aims to provide 95,000 by 2025, he added. Home ownership is rising among Saudis, he said, and has reached 60 percent of the population.

“More than 1.4 million families benefited from housing support, and there were also nine different housing and financing options available to enable ownership,” said Al-Hogail, adding that the goal is to offer 365,000 additional housing units by 2025.

He also talked about the effects of the heavy rain the Kingdom has experienced and said: “The budget for drainage and flood-prevention projects is SR16 billion, for projects in all regions of the Kingdom, and SR9 billion for projects in Jeddah Governorate.”
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