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Sun 24 Jan 2010 08:34 AM

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Saudi well placed for strong growth in 2010 - Ernst & Young

To emerge from the crisis with 4% growth projected is 'remarkable' - CEO.

The chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young has hailed Saudi Arabia's efforts to fight the impact of the global economic crisis, saying the kingdom is well placed for strong growth this year.

James S Turley made his comments prior to taking part in the Global Competitiveness Forum, which starts on Sunday in Riyadh.

Turley, who will take part in a panel discussion titled Global Risks 2010 at the forum organised by SAGIA, applauded Saudi Arabia’s ability to address the challenges posed by the economic risk and the fallout of the global economic downturn.

He said: “To emerge from the crisis with economic growth projected for 2010 at almost four percent is a remarkable achievement for any country.

"Saudi Arabia’s response to the economic downturn in terms of timely stimulus, increasing outlays for infrastructure and protecting the SME sector has been well received globally. It has the financial resources and human capital to allow for substantial growth and diversification.”

He said the kingdom's strategic importance and economic prominence in the region made it one of Ernst & Young’s most important markets globally.

He added that on a global basis, the financial crisis had highlighted outdated and inconsistent regulation.  “We must modernise and harmonise financial regulation, but without stifling the entrepreneurship and innovation that drive economic growth. And we must continue to converge standards around financial reporting, auditing and internal controls to increase transparency and boost investor confidence,” he said.

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