2003 News Story

Finance minister reports economy in good shape

Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, speaking to reporters after opening the annual meeting of contractors at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry today, declared that Saudi Arabia's economic performance during the last five months has been much better than expected, despite the extraordinary situation faced by the oil market earlier this year. He also said the decline in the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the euro and other major currencies would not affect the Kingdom's balance of payments. Many importers, he said, had taken measures to offset the effect of exchange rate fluctuations, such as reaching an agreement with banks to have a fixed exchange rate for the euro.