Oil price fall will not affect Saudi economic development: Al-Assaf
JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure and economic development is unlikely to be affected by the decline of oil prices, Saudi Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf said Sunday evening here at the joint press conference held with the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim who was in a brief visit to the Kingdom.
He said “thanks to its cash reserves, the Kingdom maintains defense lines that make its national development sustainable and immune to the adverse impacts of oil price decline.”
Al-Assaf said that the annual data show that the private sector contributes up to 60 percent to the GDP, noting that this is a very good percentage.
He added that the national economic development programs tend to reduce dependence on oil revenues and diversify the sources of income, expecting the annual growth rate to exceed four percent in keeping with the IMF estimates.
Oil prices fell on Friday as traders took a breather after recent gains, but signs of stronger US gasoline demand and smoldering tensions in Ukraine provided support, according to analysts.
The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July, shed 87 cents to $102.71 a barrel compared with Thursday’s close.
Brent North Sea crude for July fell 56 cents to stand at $109.41 a barrel in London deals.