Kingdom pledges oil market stability

WASHINGTON — The Kingdom is committed to strengthen the stability of the oil market. 
To that end, the Kingdom would work on it individually and in cooperation and coordination with Gulf Cooperation Council and other OPEC and non-OPEC countries in order to provide sufficient supplies of petroleum resources while working to stabilize oil markets and restore oil prices to fair levels for producers, consumers and the oil industry.
Addressing a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) here Saturday, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Saudi Minister of Finance, dealt with the economic situation in the Kingdom, the conditions of the global economy and some of the topics relating to the IMF.
He highlighted the continued strong performance of the Saudi economy as reflected in its high growth and moderate inflation.
Dr. Al-Assaf said the medium-term economic prospects are positive with expected strong growth in non-oil gross domestic product.
In terms of public finances, the minister explained that the budget for 2012 continued to focus on supporting economic development in order to achieve strong and sustainable growth as well as to create jobs while continuing to give priority to infrastructure projects, education, health, training, and social services.
On the banking sector, the minister reiterated the strength and integrity of the sector and said that work is under way to apply the requirements of the Basel 3 as approved by the Basel Committee.
Dr. Al-Assaf said the Kingdom has taken several measures to support small and medium businesses establishments, including encouragement of national banks to take an active role in providing banking services to this sector.
On the other hand, Dr. Al-Assaf urged officials at the IMF to have a fair and balanced diversification of the fund’s staff to include Saudis and Arabs in the staff of this institution.
He also stressed the importance of the fund and other international financial institutions’ support for the Arab countries which are passing through a phase of transition and development.
Dr. Al-Assaf also urged other donor countries to follow the example of Arab donor countries and help these countries. — SG/SPA __

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