Saudi Arabia set to spend USD 272 billion in 2020

The country’s budget announced this Monday predicts a revenue of USD 222 billion and a deficit of USD 50 billion.

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Riyadh – Saudi Arabia’s budget for 2020 predicts a spending of SAR (USD 272 billion), the Arab News newspaper reported this Monday. Revenue was estimated at SAR 833 billion (USD 222) and a deficit of SAR 187 billion (USD 50 billion) is expected.

The announcement was made by king Salman Bin Abdulaziz at a cabinet meeting in Riyadh (pictured). Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the estimated spending for 2020 is less than in 2019 and that the government will maintain its focus on developing the country’s private sector.

“Enabling the private sector is the top priority of Vision 2030 [program],” the minister said, according to Arab News, referring to the country’s pluriannual development plan. The announcement of the plan occurred a few days after Saudi Aramco oil company offered its stock to the public in the biggest initial public offering (IPO) ever.

One of the plan’s goals is reducing Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversifying its economy. But the newspaper pointed out that the commodity remains the main source of revenue and therefore the driver of spending trends for both Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf nations.

Last week, the so-called OPEC+ group, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and others like Russia, agreed on oil output cuts to avert an oversupply of oil on the global market and keep the market in balance amid surging output from US shale producers.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

Fayez Nureldine/AFP

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