The 42th Annual Report of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) was presented to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Sunday by SAMA Governor Hamad Al-Sayyari and Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf. The report was also given to Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General. The report provided a review of the most prominent economic and local developments for the Fiscal Year of 2005, and the latest developments for the current fiscal year of 2006. King Abdullah commended SAMA’s role in carrying out the Kingdom’s monetary policies.
Introducing the report, Governor Al-Sayyari noted that “the actual the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.5 percent compared to 5.3 percent in the previous year. The actual private sector GDP increased by 6.6 percent while the public sector GDP soared by 7.2 percent.” Al-Sayari also pointed out that the Kingdom’s balance of payment surplus in current accounts rose to SR338 billion [U.S. $90.1 billion] in 2005 on the back of growing oil prices and nonoil exports. The figure was almost the double of SR195 billion [U.S.$52 billin] surplus gained the previous year. As a result, the currency basket rose by 11.6 percent.
In addition, al-Sayari remarked that “the national economy is moving in the right direction, taking quick but firm steps, in order to achieve greater strength, competitiveness and diversification and creating more job opportunities for citizens. And all these factors will ensure continuous growth.” The SAMA chief also described the Kingdom’s admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as one of the major economic achievements of 2005.