Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan refused to talk about the 2023 pre-budget estimates during a press conference on Monday.

Saudi Arabia published its preliminary 2023 pre-budget statement last Friday. The Kingdom estimated public revenue in 2023 budget at SR1,123 trillion, and expenditures at SR1,114 trillion, with an expected surplus of SR9 billion.

Al-Jadaan attended the press conference in Riyadh along with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, after signing a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of IMF’s regional office in Saudi Arabia.

Answering a question, the minister preferred not to mention the announced preliminary budget estimates. He said in clear terms: “We will not talk about the budget.”

On the other hand, Al-Jadaan defended the IMF and its role, saying the IMF provides advice and conditional support to some countries. “The IMF provides real benefit to member states, and we appreciate that,” he said.

Al-Jadaan further said that the world today needs organizations like the IMF to provide wise guidance and support in such difficult times. He stressed that Saudi Arabia was and will continue to support IMF’s programs.