Saudi Arabia’s Post-corona Years

Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, May 6

While we’re waiting for the coronavirus epidemic to pass, it is also becoming clearer and clearer that what’s next to come is a widespread economic crisis – not merely within Saudi Arabia or the Arab region, but across the world. Therefore, the interview given by the Saudi finance minister to Saudi television last week did not surprise me, even if I had reservations about its timing. I thought it should have been postponed until the so-called fog of war disappears and things become clearer about what life might look like in the post-corona era. But everything the minister said was expected. The coronavirus crisis alone is enough to stir up the economy, all the more so when it is combined with plunging oil prices. Saudi Arabia has previously experienced economic crises and limited financial flows. However, it emerged stronger and more resilient from all of them. The financial crisis of the early 1990s, in which King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, may God have mercy on him, was forced to tighten the belt on the economy, resulted in an economic restructuring of the kingdom, which allowed us to emerge from the crisis stronger than we were during the entire previous decade. Similarly, I’m confident that Saudi Arabia will emerge from this crisis within two to three years stronger than we are now, especially given our robust political alliances and our strong stance in the global economy. Indeed, the tools at Saudi Arabia’s disposal are ones that very few countries have. Yes, oil prices are very low. But part of our government’s vision over the past few years has been to diversify the sources of income in our economy in a way that doesn’t make us overly dependent on oil. It goes without saying that while crises of this sort are never easy, they also have hidden opportunities within. This is a chance for Saudi Arabia to correct some of its errors and reevaluate its path forward. Yes, we need to tighten the belt and address this crisis using potentially painful solutions. But there is absolutely no doubt that we will come out victorious from this crisis and look back at 2020 as a pivotal year that made the kingdom’s economy stronger than ever before. – Muhammad Al-Sheikh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.