International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the change in Saudi Arabia in terms of economic diversification is amazing.
“The change in Saudi Arabia is amazing,” she said in an interview with Al-Arabiya Business on the sidelines of the Arab Fiscal Forum held in Dubai.
“The Kingdom’s economy has shifted from relying heavily on the oil and gas sectors to being more dynamic in the non-oil sectors. I praise the way the Kingdom is following to achieve its Vision 2030, regarding economic diversification.”
She said that the expansion of tourism in Saudi Arabia is promising. “We have witnessed a recovery in tourism as the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia is expanding well. The attractiveness of tourism to the Kingdom comes from the digital infrastructure, the dynamism of the economy in general, and last but not least the role of women,” she said.
Georgieva said that during her visit to AlUla, she saw significant potential for the Kingdom to further expand in the tourism sector.
“I actually went to AlUla myself, and I was amazed by the beauty and quality of tourism it offers through the promotion of high technology,” she said.
The IMF chief noted that women’s participation in the labor market has now become an integral part of the economy, and of course this gives an additional impetus to the Saudi economy.
She also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s remarkable growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector and mentioned the Kingdom’s increased focus on attracting advanced technology companies.
In her speech at the forum on Sunday, Georgieva mentioned that the IMF has been enhancing capacity development across the Arab region, pointing out to the agency’s new Riyadh office, saying it aims to “strengthen our presence and partnerships with Arab institutions.”
She addressed the global economic outlook amidst the ongoing uncertainties, particularly noting the effects of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Despite these uncertainties, Georgieva conveyed a cautiously optimistic stance on the global economy’s resilience, observing that inflation has been on a steady decline, potentially setting the stage for a soft landing in 2024.
She acknowledged that while growth last year exceeded expectations, with projections for this year reaching 3.1 percent, it is too soon to declare a complete economic recovery.
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