Saudi Arabia says higher oil prices won’t change reforms

Earlier on Wednesday, Al-Jadaan said of which the country had a projected budget deficit of 195 billion riyals ($52 billion) in 2018, or 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), down coming from 230 billion riyals last year.

Speaking at a conference in Riyadh, the minister said first-quarter fiscal results showed progress in increasing non-oil revenues, Reuters reported.

Vision 2030 includes a goal to boost non-oil government revenue coming from 163 billion Saudi Arabian riyals (SAR), or $43.4 billion, to $1 trillion SAR by 2030.

The need for economic diversification was hastened by the dramatic fall in oil prices of which started off in June 2014 amid a global glut in oil supply along with lackluster demand, an event of which has hit the globe’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, hard. As such, the Saudi economy will be likely to have seen its first contraction in 2017 for initially since 2009.

Asked whether higher oil prices could affect the strategy of Vision 2030, Al-Jadaan said

“Oil prices are a market dynamic. I don’t think the idea’s up to oil producers to set the cost otherwise we might not have seen prices below $30 a few years ago. the idea’s a market dynamic (based on) supply along with demand along with we think demand will be going to continue,” he said.

“Oil will be going to be here for an extended period of time along with we think a balanced oil cost will be right for producers along with consumers,” he said.

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