Economy of Saudi Arabia

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Economy - overview: This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved reserves), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 40% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 35% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Saudi Arabia was a key player in the successful efforts of OPEC and other oil producing countries to raise the price of oil in 1999-2000 to its highest level since the Gulf war by reducing production. Riyadh expects to have a moderate budget deficit in 2001, in part because of increased spending for education and other social programs. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $232 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 47%
services: 47% (1998 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (2000)
Labor force: 7 million
note: 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)
Budget:
revenues:  $66 billion
expenditures:  $66 billion (2000 est.) 
Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production: 120 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 111.6 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Exports: $81.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners: Japan 18%, US 18%, France 4%, South Korea, Singapore, India (1999)
Imports: $30.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners: US 25%, Japan 10%, Germany 7%, Italy 5%, France, UK (1999)
Debt - external: $26.3 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - donor: pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 1993, Saudi Arabia has committed $208 million for assistance to the Palestinians
Currency: 1 Saudi riyal (SAR) = 100 halalah

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Saudi Arabia > Map Economy History