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Saudi arabia

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Summary

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 20% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Diversification efforts are focusing on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. Almost 6 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors, while Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, most recently with the opening of the King Abdallah University of Science and Technology - Saudi Arabia's first co-educational university. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in December 2005 after many years of negotiations. The government has begun establishing six "economic cities" in different regions of the country to promote foreign investment and plans to spend $373 billion between 2010 and 2014 on social development and infrastructure projects to advance Saudi Arabia's economic development.

Central bank

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

International Reserves

US$ 459.313 billion (Source: World Bank; Data updated: November 2010)

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 578.566 billion (2009 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

676.223 billion of International dollars (2009 estimate)

Real GDP growth

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

4.9%

0.5%

0.1%

7.7%

5.3%

5.6%

3.2%

2%

2008

2009

2010

2011*

4.2%

0.6%

3.7%

7.5%

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 21,685 (2009 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$25,345 International Dollars (2009 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total

1980

1990

2000

2010

2015**

1.37%

0.94%

0.84%

0.84%

0.84%

**Forecast

GDP - composition by sector

  • agriculture: 3%
  • industry: 59.1%
  • services: 37.9% (2009 estimate)
  • (Data released on November 2010)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP)

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Inflation

2008

2009

2010

2011*

9.9%

5.1%

5.4%

6%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate

2008

2009

2010

2011*

9.8%

10.5%

10.5%

N/A

*Estimate

Household saving rates

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011*

18.5%

13.2%

16%

10.8%

8.3%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010*

2011**

15.7%

35.4%

-2.4%

1.9%

6.2%

*Estimate   **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA-/Stable/A-1+

Moody's rating: Aa3

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Nov 2010)

Market value of publicly traded shares

2007

2008

2009

US$515.111 billion

US$246.337 billion

US$318.765 billion

Largest companies in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Basic Industries (Diversified Chemicals), Saudi Telecommunications (Telecommunications services), Saudi Electricity (Electric Utilities), Al Rajhi Bank (Regional Banks), Samba Financial Group (Major Banks), Riyad Bank (Regional Banks)

(2011)

Current account balance

US$ 114.4 billion (2009 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

19.8% of GDP (2009 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP

(Exports of goods and services)

52.7% (2009)

(Data released on December 2010)

Shares in world total merchandising export

1.64%

(Data were released in Nov 2011 and refer to 2010)

Shares in world total commercial services export

0.28%

(Data were released in Nov 2011 and refer to 2010)

Total exports

US$235.3 billion f.o.b. (2010 estimate)

Export commodities

petroleum and petroleum products 90%

Total imports

US$92.4 billion f.o.b. (2008 estimate)

Import commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles

Exports - major partners

US 17.1%, Japan 16.3%, South Korea 9.7%, China 8.1%, Taiwan 4.7%, Singapore 4% (2007)

Imports - major partners

US 12.6%, China 9.4%, Germany 8.8%, Japan 8.1%, Italy 5%, South Korea 4.9%, UK 4.5% (2007)

FDI inflows

2008

2009

2010

US$38,151 million

US$32,100 million

US$28,105 million

FDI outflows

2008

2009

2010

US$3,498 million

US$2,177 million

US$3,907 million

Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser

2008

2009

2010

2011

US$1,442 million

US$121 million

US$422 million

US$-129 million

Best countries for doing business

World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project

(Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 – 183. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 11 out of 183 countries (2010)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 13 out of 183 countries

Registering property: 1 out of 183 countries

Paying Taxes: 6 out of 183 countries

Getting credit: 46 out of 183 countries

Protecting investors: 16 out of 183 countries

Trading across border: 18 out of 183 countries

Enforcing Contracts: 140 out of 183 countries

(2010)

Global competitiveness ranking

(ranking by country on a basis of 142, the first is the best)

17

(2011/2012)

Index of Economic Freedom

WSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 54 Score: 66.2 (Moderately Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

Contact

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