Saudi Arabia is set for achieving substantial economic growth this year, much more than the 4.4 percent growth predicted by the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said yesterday.
“IMF makes independent assessment based on its criteria. We did not agree with its estimate last year as it was low and our estimate and expectation was correct and we achieved higher growth,” the minister said.
“This year the IMF prediction for the Kingdom’s economic growth was 4.4 percent. We don’t agree with them and expect higher growth,” he said while talking to reporters after attending an international forum in Riyadh.
Al-Assaf criticized international rating agencies, saying “they classify countries as developed or developing without considering the basis of each economy accurately” whether they may be in America, Europe and Arabian Peninsula.
“As a result, we see the estimate of Saudi economy higher than what they report,” Al-Assaf said. “At the same time we appreciate their efforts. This year they have raised the rating for the Saudi economy.” He said the Saudi Credit Bank reviews the feasibility of projects before financing them. During the last two years there was substantial increase in loans given to small and medium enterprises. He said SMEs create 51 percent of jobs in the Kingdom’s private sector.