Middle East - SAUDI ARABIA



Country Profile:

Saudi Arabia has been ruled since its foundation by the Al Saud dynasty. King Abdullah succeeded the late King Fahd, his half brother, in August 2005. It is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam’s two holiest shrines, Mecca and Medina.

Saudi Arabia is the world's dominant oil producer/exporter and owner of over 20% of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves. Due to its dependency on oil, it is actively pursuing economic reform and diversification, especially since its accession to the WTO in 2005. In particular, it is encouraging privatisation in the utility sector such as power and telecommunications.

Main Trade Partners:

EU, China, S.Korea, Japan, USA, Taiwan, UAE

Main Industries:

Oil & Gas, Cement, Fertilizer, Plastics, Construction, Ship Repair, Financial Services


28,161,417 incl. 5,576,076 non-nationals (July 2008 CIA World Factbook est.)


2,149,690 sq. km.


564.6 bn. (2007 IMF est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate:

4.1% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

GDP per Head:

$23,243 (2007 IMF est.)

GDP per Sector:

Services 31.1%, Industry 65.9%, Agriculture 3.0% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

Stock Market Capitalisation:

$326.9 bn. (2006 CIA World Factbook)

Exchange Rate:

1 Saudi Rial = 0.267 US$ (Fixed) I US$ = 3.744 Saudi Rials

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