Saudi Economy
Economy - overview: audi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 16% 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. Over 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. In 2014 the Kingdom ran its first budget deficit since 2009, and faces budget deficits for the foreseeable future because it requires an oil price greater than $100 per barrel to balance its budget. Although the Kingdom can finance high deficits for several years by drawing down its considerable foreign assets or borrowing, it probably will begin to reduce capital spending if oil prices stay low through the next year.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.616 trillion (2014 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $752.5 billion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $52,200 (2014 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2%
industry: 59.7%
services: 38.3% (2014 est.)
Labor force: 11.22 million
note: about 80% of the labor force is non-national (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 6.7%
industry: 21.4%
services: 71.9% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (2014 est.)
note: data are for Saudi males only (local bank estimates; some estimates are as high as 25%)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed): 24.2% of GDP (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $278.9 billion
expenditures: $293.3 billion (2014 est.)
Public debt: 1.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 2.5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 6.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
Industrial production growth rate: 3.6% (2014 est.)
Electricity - production: 255.4 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 231.6 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production: 9.735 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - consumption: 2.38 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports: 7.658 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 268.3 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 102.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 102.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 8.235 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Current account balance: $106.2 billion (2014 est.)
Exports: $359.4 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners: China 13.3%, Japan 13%, US 12.9%, South Korea 10%, India 8.9%, Singapore 4% (2014)
Imports: $162.2 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners: China 13.3%, US 12.1%, India 8.3%, Germany 6.5%, South Korea 5.4%, Japan 4.9% (2014)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $756.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external: $164.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $242.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $31.51 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange rates: Saudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar - 3.75 (2014 est.), 3.75 (2013 est.), 3.75 (2012 est.), 3.75 (2011 est.), 3.75 (2010 est.)
economic climate  
Background:
Saudi Arabia's economy is the largest in the Arabian Peninsula. It is dominated by the petroleum sector and it has the largest reserves in the world (26 per cent of the proved total). It is the largest exporter of petroleum and plays a leading role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75 per cent of budget revenues, 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 90 per cent of export earnings. About 35 per cent of GDP comes from the private sector.
The Seventh Development Plan has been published by the Saudi Government and details the economic policy plans for the next few years.
Export opportunities:  
Update: This page was last updated on 10 November 2015
Sources: 1. CIA, The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ae.html
2. http://www.austrade.gov.au
3. DIBNC Experts Team