This chapter includes the following articles.
A welcome improvement was seen in the Kingdom’s economic fortunes in 2018, with GDP growth of 1.2% in the first quarter marking the first expansion of the national economy after five consecutive quarters of contraction. Overall, the economy grew by 2.2% for the year, compared to a contraction of 0.7% in 2017. Firming oil prices have enabled the government to produce two record-breaking budgets for 2018 and 2019, and the private sector is poised to benefit as the projects outlined in the nation’s ambitious development strategy begin to take shape with its help. Saudi Arabia’s long-term goal of securing enough private investment to shift the nation’s primary engine of growth away from state spending, however, remains a work in progress. This chapter contains interviews with Turki Al Hokail, CEO and Board Member, National Centre for Privatisation; Ajlan Abdulaziz Alajlan, Chairman of the Board, Ajlan & Bros, and Chairman, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Husameddin Al Madani, Director-General, National Centre for Performance and Measurement.