Saudi Arabia's 2018 budget may be its largest ever but the government must focus on the quality of spending, not just the quantity, according to experts.
The Kingdom is prepared to increase spending to record levels next year — 978 billion riyals ($261 billion) — as it looks to diversify its economy away from energy as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's bold reform agenda.
This expansionary budget comes at a time of economic struggle — the country entered into recession this year, contracting 0.5 percent — but the government is optimistic, estimating growth to rebound to 2.7 percent in 2018.
Redesigning the economy is a crucial component of Vision 2030, a wide-ranging plan to make Saudi Arabia less dependent on oil, reduce subsidies and increase employment. The jobless rate among Saudi citizens stands around 12.8 percent.