By Arab News
The Kingdom has the capacity to counter any economic challenges, Planning and Economy Minister Muhammad Al-Jasser said yesterday.
“The Kingdom can face any economic challenge more than ever in the past because of its leaders’ wise vision and the huge investment projects it has implemented to strengthen its pivotal economic position and its attempts for economic diversification,” Al-Jasser said.
The minister made these remarks during his lecture at the Madinah Islamic University.
He underscored the economic diversification achieved in the Kingdom.
The nonoil sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP has risen from 48.5 percent in 1970 to 72.5 percent in 2011 despite the massive expansion of oil-related industries, he said.
He said diversification of revenue sources has been one of the goals of economic planners since the 1980s.
He said the Kingdom is currently striving to create more jobs and raise productivity in private and public sectors. He said the first 10 years of the Third Millennium is considered a decade of marvels to emerging economies including their successful overcoming of global economic challenges.
Those countries are expected to dominate the global economic scene, the minister said.
Some of those large economies had their growth rates drop by half or below half and some analysts now warn that the slow growth in those countries will continue, he said.
Al-Jasser, however, dismissed such projections saying that the emerging economies including the Kingdom will maintain their appropriate positions on global stage.
He said the Kingdom’s pivotal position in the international economic scene is further proven by it being listed among the 20 most leading global economies, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The minister also voiced concerns about the issue of commercial cover-up that spoils employment opportunities for Saudi nationals and passes the jobs illegally to expatriate workers.