“Saudi Arabia has subscribed the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), which is one of the best international practices in publishing financial and economic data for countries,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Jadaan announced.
Al-Jadaan confirmed that the Kingdom’s accession to this standard is an important step in the path taken by the Saudi government to enhance financial disclosure and transparency in accordance with international standards, and supports the previous steps taken by Saudi Arabia in this area, such as the application of the Manual of Government Financial Statistics (GFS2014) to the IMF, in addition to Issuing periodic and budgetary financial reports and supporting the efforts of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and the General Authority for Statistics in developing measurement and dissemination of economic data in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Jadaan pointed out that the Saudi progress in the field of transparency and disclosure of financial and economic data supports efforts to raise the efficiency of governance and control of public finances, and improve the investment climate as well as strengthening the Saudi position at the international level, especially as Saudi Arabia is on the threshold of assuming the presidency of the G20 during the next year, confirming that this the standard will contribute to the availability of real-time and comprehensive statistics leading to an increase in the level of data access to the financial markets to help in making investment decisions in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government, represented by the Ministry of Finance, SAMA, and the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), has completed the Kingdom’s accession to the IMF’s SDDS and has also implemented the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) initiative on the national data page of the standard.
The Kingdom’s accession to the IMF’s SDDS was signed on Wednesday at the Ministry of Finance in Riyadh.
For his part, the Governor of SAMA, Dr. Ahmad bin Abdul-Karim Al-Khulaifi, said: “The efforts of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the IMF have been successful in joining the SDDS, as part of the approach of Saudi Vision 2030 to achieve the highest levels of transparency and benefit from best global practices”.
Al-Khulaifi added that joining the SDDS is an important step in enhancing the confidence of investors in the timing and accuracy of the financial and economic data of Saudi Arabia, which confirms the bright path of the Saudi economy.
The President of the GASTAT, Dr. Fahd bin Sulaiman Al-Tkheifi pointed out that the Kingdom’s accession to the SDDS is an achievement of one of the national strategic statistical goals in developing the statistical sector comprehensively and publishing modern statistical data about Saudi Arabia in accordance with global best practices, confirming that Saudi Arabia is the first country among the G20 countries to implement the SDMX initiative among countries that have joined SDDS standards.
A Single Database
The IMF’s SDDS has four axes for data dissemination: coverage, periodicity, timeliness, easy access to data, and the integrity and quality of published data. The SDMX initiative contributes to strengthening the capacity of government agencies to communicate their statistical data as a link between data producers and users through the adoption of statistical data sharing platforms (SDMX).
It will also directly contribute to delivering data to decision makers in various government agencies who will be able to analyze and implement business decisions based on ready information based on data collected from different and consolidated sources in a single database, where the program will enable data analysts to integrate data from different sources including current data and historical data and put it together in one place, which will enable specialists to focus more on analysis rather than the traditional long processes of processing and consolidating data from different sources, and users will be able to develop their schedules and bulletins using the tools provided by the system, reducing the reliance on programmers to develop reports and statistical tables each time.
SDMX initiative was launched in 2001 by seven international organizations working in the field of statistics: The Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank, Eurostat, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, and the World Bank.
This initiative comes after the emergence of the need for common standards and guidelines among the agencies that produce and exchange statistical data and information to make the information clearer and more useful for users. It was therefore decided to create a unified framework for the dissemination of statistical data and metadata for use by statistical producers and beneficiaries to exchange data among them, and thus making data collectable and comparable.