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Doing Business in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian economy is the largest in the Gulf region, and the country is the only nation in the region that is a member of the G-20 group of major economies. Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with petroleum accounting for approximately 87 percent of budget revenues, 42 percent of GDP, and 90 percent of export earnings revenue. Current GDP is estimated at USD 681.2 billion. In response to the sustained period of low oil prices and the realization that a primary commodity based economy is not sustainable, the government is seeking to step up and accelerate its drive to diversify the economy from an over dependence on oil.

With oil prices low and economic growth expected to slide to an average of 1.4 to 2.0 percent GDP growth this year, the Kingdom is accelerating economic diversification as outlined in the Vision 2030, announced in April 2016, and more specifically in the ambitious National Transformation Program (NTP), announced in June 2016. The execution of the NTP’s 543 new initiatives will cost the Saudi government an estimated $72 billion over the next five years, with an additional $80 billion to come from private sector activity. The NTP can be viewed in its entirety at: http://vision2030.gov.sa/sites/default/files/NTP_En.pdf.

Busy Trade Show in RiyadhU.S. & Saudi Flags

The United States exported USD 19.690 billion to Saudi Arabia in 2015, our second largest export market in the Gulf behind the UAE, and the Kingdom is America’s 19th largest trading partner. Major U.S. exported products include passenger automobiles, trucks/buses, industrial machinery, construction/building equipment, civil aircraft, defense systems, IT, health care products. For the first quarter 2016, U.S. exports continue on pace vis-à-vis 2015 record levels, while the long-time trade deficit has moved into trade surplus, given Saudi Arabia’s continued demand for imports while Saudi crude exports denominated in petrodollars has plummeted in earnings value.

HOW TO DO BUSINESS IN SAUDI ARABIA

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