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Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques chairs cabinet meeting

Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques chairs cabinet meeting
23 Dec

Riyadh - SPA

The Council of Ministers approved the state's general budget for the new fiscal year
1435 AH/1436 AH. in a session held under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two
Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Monday, the 20th of Safar 1435 H.
corresponding to the 23rd of December 2013 in Rawdhat Khuraim in Riyadh region.

This budget which we approve today is a clear evidence of the great economic renaissance
in our country. The resources available to it provide multiple opportunities for
development. It is an extension of the accomplished achievements and the programs and
projects being implemented which call for optimism for a better future, but we realize
that it is less than we or the dear citizens aspire to, so we are determined to continue
the process of sustainable development in our dear country to secure a decent life for
its citizens, generation after generation, by constantly working to enhance integration
between the public sector and the private sector, achieving growth in the economic
activity, improving the performance of the government sector, activating the role of
public administration in development, continuing to reform education as a foundation for
human development, continuing to address the imbalance of the labor market in order to
create job opportunities for citizens, strengthening the link between the annual budget
and development plans, promoting sustainability of public finance, improving the
implementation of projects and development programs, balancing the needs of the current
generation and future generations, optimally using the resources that Allah has provided
to our beloved country, bolstering the rule of law, strengthening security and counter-
terrorism and promoting the spirit of responsible citizenship and national belonging by
adopting media, educational, cultural, intellectual, social and economic strategies and
policies in which all bodies of the public and private sectors participate.

Fellow citizens

We realize that the essence is not in the budget figures, but in the achievement on the
ground in terms of projects and quality services which enhance the homeland and enjoy
the citizens. Therefore, all ministers and heads of government agencies have the
responsibility of implementing their projects and programs and performing the work
assigned to them with sincerity, accuracy and without complacency or shortage toward the
nation and the citizens. They are accountable to Allah and then to us for that in order
for the homeland to grow and citizens to enjoy. The regulatory bodies shall provide us
with periodic reports on the performance levels and constraints.

May Allah save our country and perpetuate the grace of security, stability and
prosperity.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Dr. Abdulaziz bin
Mohieddin Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information, said that upon directives from the
King, the Minister of Finance made a brief presentation of the new draft budget of the
State. He reviewed global economic situations, their developments and those of the
national economy as well as the financial oucome of the current fiscal year 1434/1435H
in addition to the main features of the new budget as follows:

According to the royal directives and the importance of strengthening the development
march and the continuing attractiveness of the general investment environment that will
push economic growth and create more jobs for citizens, the budget for next fiscal year
1435 / 1436 H continued focusing on development projects, where financial allocations
were distributed in a way focusing on sectors of education, health, security, social and
municipal services, water and sanitation, roads, and electronic transactions, and the
support for scientific research.

The Minister of Finance said that the budget included new programs and projects and
additional phases for some projects already approved with a total value of about SR248
billion. As customary, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy and Planning
have coordinated on programs and projects included in the 9th Development Plan, which
began in the fiscal year 1431/1432H.

The Minister of Finance also reported that according to the Department of Statistics and
Information, it is expected that the gross domestic product for this fiscal year
1434/1435 (2013) will amount to SR2.794 billion at current prices, an increase of 1.54%
over the previous fiscal year 1433/1434 H (2012). Regarding the GDP of the non-oil
public and private sector, it is expected to achieve a growth rate of 6.99% as growth of
the government sector is expected to reach 1.56% and the private sector by 9.38 % at
current prices. The petroleum sector is decreased by 3.83% at the current prices.

The Minister of Finance said that in terms of fixed prices, the Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) is expected to score a 3.80 percent growth compared to a 5.81 percent last year.
The oil sector is expected to decrease by 0.61 percent as the governmental sector is
expected to grow by 3.73 percent and the private sector by 5.50 percent. The private
sector's contribution to the GDP will reach 58.75 percent. All economic activities
composing the domestic product for the non-oil have achieved positive growth. The real
growth in the transformable non-oil industries is estimated at 4.72 percent, the
communications, transport and storage 7.20 %, construction and building 8.11%, wholesale
and retail trade, restaurants and hotels 6.16 % and capital services, insurance, real
estate and business services 4.86 %.

He explained that the record for living cost has soared over the year 1434 /1435 (2013)
by 3.35 % compared to 1433/1434 H. (2012) according to the base year, 2007.
The modulus for the recess of the GDP for non-oil sector, which is considered among the
most important economic indexes to gauge inflation in the economy in general, is
expected to increase by 1.85 % in 1434/1435 H. (2013) compared to last year.

He explained that, according to estimates by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, it is
expected that the total value of commodity exports during the year 1434/1435 (2013) to
reach 1,376,197,000,000, a decrease of 5.5 percent over the previous fiscal year. It is
also expected that the value of non-petroleum exports to reach about 195,574,000,000, an
increase of 3.9 percent over the last fiscal year. The non-petroleum exports account for
4.14 percent of total commodity exports.

The Executive Directors of the Fund welcomed the measures taken by the government to
strengthen the management of public finances and the continuing steps to support the
financial development and strengthening of financial regulation and supervision. They
praised the large investment directed to education for the advancement of the skills of
citizens, pointing to the need to control this spending in light of achieving the
desired results. They confirmed that the credit growth in the Kingdom is still strong
and that the banking system has a good level of capital adequacy and profitability with
the start of the application of standards 'Basel 3' of capital in January 2013, as the
Kingdom is of the first countries that have implemented these standards.

He said the Standard & Poor's international credit rating agency announced its raising
of the outlook for the sovereign rating of the Kingdom from stable to positive at a high
credit rating of -AA. The Standard & Poor's commended the Kingdom's efforts to promote
and diversify its economy, which led to accelerated and real growth of the per capita
income as well as the prudent management of its financial reserves. The announcement
comes after a similar announcement by Fitch international credit rating agency during
the month of March last year.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the
following remarks:

Praise be to Allah at this blessed time in which I have heard what is of service to
religion, the homeland and the people, and service of every human being who asks the
Kingdom for any help, anything that is of service to Islam and Muslims always and ever.
I ask from the ministers to discharge their duty sincerely and faithfully and fear Allah
Almighty. I wish you all the best and to meet your people, young and old, as if they
were me. I ask this especially from Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. Like what we said
previously and like what I heard from you that our ambassadors receive citizens, young
and old. May Allah guide you. Allah will compensate any money for your country. All this
is obvious by the grace of your Lord...Thank you.'

Then, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers read the decrees of the budget.

The commodity imports are expected to reach in the current year SR574.089 billion, an
increase of 8% compared to the previous year.
The Minister of Finance said the initial estimations of the Saudi Arabian Monetary
Agency indicate that the trade balance will achieve this year's surplus of SR802.108
billion, a decrease of 13.3% from last year due to a decline in oil exports and rising
imports.

The current account of the balance of payments is expected to achieve a surplus of
SR486.754 billion in the current fiscal year 1434/1435 (2013) compared to a surplus of
SR 617.864 billion for the past fiscal year 1433/1434 (2012) with a decrease of 21.2%.
He added that it is expected to decrease the size of the public debt at the end of the
current fiscal year 1434/1435H (2013) to about SR75.1 billion representing less than
2.7% of the expected GDP for the year 1434/1435H (2013) compared to SR98.8 billion by
the end of the last fiscal year 1433/1434H (2012).

The Minister of Finance said that a report of consultations of International Monetary
Fund with the Kingdom for 2013 stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are among the
best performers in the Group of Twenty in recent years. The report highlighted that the
Kingdom has supported the global economy through its supportive role for the stability
of the global oil market. The report pointed to a positive outlook ahead of the Saudi
economy.

The Minister of Finance said that in terms of fixed prices, the Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) is expected to score a 3.80 percent growth compared to a 5.81 percent last year.
The oil sector is expected to decrease by 0.61 percent as the governmental sector is
expected to grow by 3.73 percent and the private sector by 5.50 percent. The private
sector's contribution to the GDP will reach 58.75 percent. All economic activities
composing the domestic product for the non-oil have achieved positive growth. The real
growth in the transformable non-oil industries is estimated at 4.72 percent, the
communications, transport and storage 7.20 %, construction and building 8.11%, wholesale
and retail trade, restaurants and hotels 6.16 % and capital services, insurance, real
estate and business services 4.86 %.

He explained that the record for living cost has soared over the year 1434 /1435 (2013)
by 3.35 % compared to 1433/1434 H. (2012) according to the base year, 2007.
The modulus for the recess of the GDP for non-oil sector, which is considered among the
most important economic indexes to gauge inflation in the economy in general, is
expected to increase by 1.85 % in 1434/1435 H. (2013) compared to last year.
He explained that, according to estimates by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, it is
expected that the total value of commodity exports during the year 1434/1435 (2013) to
reach 1,376,197,000,000, a decrease of 5.5 percent over the previous fiscal year. It is
also expected that the value of non-petroleum exports to reach about 195,574,000,000, an
increase of 3.9 percent over the last fiscal year. The non-petroleum exports account for
4.14 percent of total commodity exports.

The Executive Directors of the Fund welcomed the measures taken by the government to
strengthen the management of public finances and the continuing steps to support the
financial development and strengthening of financial regulation and supervision. They
praised the large investment directed to education for the advancement of the skills of
citizens, pointing to the need to control this spending in light of achieving the
desired results. They confirmed that the credit growth in the Kingdom is still strong
and that the banking system has a good level of capital adequacy and profitability with
the start of the application of standards 'Basel 3' of capital in January 2013, as the
Kingdom is of the first countries that have implemented these standards.

He said the Standard & Poor's international credit rating agency announced its raising
of the outlook for the sovereign rating of the Kingdom from stable to positive at a high
credit rating of -AA. The Standard & Poor's commended the Kingdom's efforts to promote
and diversify its economy, which led to accelerated and real growth of the per capita
income as well as the prudent management of its financial reserves. The announcement
comes after a similar announcement by Fitch international credit rating agency during
the month of March last year.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the
following remarks:

Praise be to Allah at this blessed time in which I have heard what is of service to
religion, the homeland and the people, and service of every human being who asks the
Kingdom for any help, anything that is of service to Islam and Muslims always and ever.
I ask from the ministers to discharge their duty sincerely and faithfully and fear Allah
Almighty. I wish you all the best and to meet your people, young and old, as if they
were me. I ask this especially from Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. Like what we said
previously and like what I heard from you that our ambassadors receive citizens, young
and old. May Allah guide you. Allah will compensate any money for your country. All this
is obvious by the grace of your Lord...Thank you.'

Then, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers read the decrees of the budget.

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