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24/10/2017 - 19:34hs
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Lagarde praises Saudi reforms

IMF’s managing director visited Riyadh and said that the country has been progressing in its economic program. She pointed to the fiscal adjustment and facilitation of access of women to the labor force.



São Paulo – The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, visited Saudi Arabia and said this Tuesday (24) that the country has been progressing in the implementation of its “ambitious reform agenda.” Launched last year by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the plan named Vision 2030 carries a series of reforms to modernize and diversify the Saudi economy.

She pointed out that the government has been carrying on the fiscal adjustment containing expenditures and increasing non-oil revenues. “A large, sustained, and well-paced fiscal adjustment is needed in the coming years to continue to respond to the effects of lower oil prices on the budget,” said Lagarde in a statement. “However, given the strong fiscal buffers, the availability of financing, and the current cyclical position of the economy, fiscal adjustment should be gradual,” she added.

The Fund’s executive underlined also that the country has been doing changes to reduce restrictions to women entering the labor market, such as transportation subsidies, increase in the number of daycares, encouraging teleworking and licenses to drive. This last measure was announced but not yet implemented. She suggested additional incentives, such as the support to women’s entrepreneurship through support programs to small and medium-sized companies, fiscal benefits to open a company or the re-configuration of workplaces to better accommodate women.

Lagarde met with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, with Minister of Finance, Mohammed Aljadaan, and with the governor of the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA), Ahmed Alkholifey. She also met with women entrepreneurs, researchers, lawyers and activists.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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