With a GDP of $754 billion in 2014 (World Bank, current estimated prices), Saudi Arabia remains the largest economy in the Middle East and the region’s only member of the G-20 group of major economies. The Kingdom also boasts a relatively high GDP per capita—$24,406 in 2014—and one of the region’s largest markets, with a population of approximately 30 million. The Kingdom’s real GDP grew by 3.35 percent in 2015, though a sustained period of low global oil prices since mid-2014 has negatively affected Saudi Arabia’s economy, prompting the government to draw down on its vast foreign currency reserves, pursue austerity measures, and explore privatizing major state-owned enterprises.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s economic challenges may offer significant opportunities for foreign investors and exporters. In April 2016, the Saudi Arabian government announced a new “Vision 2030” initiative to undertake socio-economic reforms, diversify the economy, and create jobs for Saudi citizens. Improving the country’s business climate is integral part of Saudi Arabia’s renewed efforts to liberalize the country’s trade and investment regime and diversify an economy overly dependent on oil exports.
For more information about doing business in Saudi Arabia, see below:
- 2017 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies (PDF 1 MB)
- 2018 Investment Climate Statement
- “Doing Business in Saudi Arabia”: Export.gov
For more information about Saudi Arabia’s reform plans, see: