During a three-day international conference inaugurated in Riyadh yesterday, Saudi officials offered assurances that the Saudi economy remains strong despite global economic turmoil.
Minister of Rural and Municipal Affairs Prince Mitab bin Abdulaziz opened the Third Global Competitiveness Forum under the theme "Responsible Competitiveness in a Rapidly Changing World."
During his remarks yesterday, Prince Mitab noted that Saudi Arabia continues to adopt the economic policies necessary to grow its economy. The government is spending money on basic services and projects to enhance productive capacity, he said. It is estimated that investment by the government and the oil sector will exceed $400 billion in the coming five years.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Forum today, Chairman of Board of Directors of Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) Prince Saud bin Thenayan Al-Saud affirmed that the Kingdom offers advantages to foreign investors seeking refuge from the global economic crisis.
"This does not mean that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not been affected, as the Kingdom is part of the world; but the damage has been relatively less," he said.
Prince Saud noted that SABIC has been less affected than other major corporations by the financial crisis, as a result of the diversification of its investments.
For his part, Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf noted, "When we look at countries of the world and compare the Kingdom’s economy with the economies of these countries, we find ourselves among the best countries in the world with regard to the general budget of the state and the large reserves that support economic growth."