Saudi King, Abdulaziz Salman, whose country is the world’s top oil exporter, pledged on Wednesday to diversify the economy in a bid to shore up national finances dented by a slide in crude oil prices.
“The kingdom is keen to implement programmes to diversify income resources and reduce reliance on oil as the main source of income,” Salman said in a statement.
Salman, who ascended to the throne in 2015, said his country had maintained economic growth despite global economic fluctuations.
“This growth is due to balanced and wise economic policies aimed at keeping a balance between resources and spending,” he added.
Saudi Arabia’s finances are under pressure resulting from the plunge in oil prices.
The regional economic heavyweight relies on oil revenues to finance welfare programmes for its citizens and military involvement in Yemen and Syria.