New: GT Saudi Arabia Market Brief
The new GT Saudi Arabia Market Brief eBook has been published. Here's what The Ambassador HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud has to say about the region and the publication in his foreword:
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to be an oasis of economic stability in the midst of global financial fragility.
Our stable economy has enabled us to plan an extensive development programme, building and developing our human resources as well as the physical infrastructure of our country, including projects in all sectors from water desalination to primary healthcare, roads, schools, universities and investment in technical and vocational training. Saudi Arabia is transforming itself into one of the world’s most competitive economies and one of the most lucrative markets for strategic investment.
Major projects include the four new economic cities being built across the Kingdom, due for completion by 2020. These are already creating opportunities for young Saudis and are a hub of investment, global trade, commerce and industry. They are being hailed as one of the most important developments in Saudi Arabia’s recent history.
Today, Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most competitive economies: worldwide, it is ranked 4th for fiscal freedom and 7th for its rewarding tax system. It is also the world’s fastest reforming business climate and now ranks 13th out of 181 countries for overall ease of doing business.
The UK is one of the largest exporters of goods to Saudi Arabia. UK exports in 2009 amounted to £2,648,094,134, while KSA exports to the UK totalled £668,986,414. And trade is increasing. UK exports to Saudi Arabia went up 42.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 (to £691,380.890) compared to the first quarter of 2009 (£484,885,001). Services make up two-thirds of those exported figures. Exported goods include power generating machinery, transport equipment, medical products, scientific instruments and general machinery and parts. Imports to the UK from Saudi Arabia have increased by 13.4 per cent, from £194,913,375 in the first quarter of 2009 to £221,086,850 in the same period this year.
We are increasingly working side by side. There are now nearly 200 ongoing UK/Saudi Joint ventures, with total investment estimated at US$20 billion. One of the most important developments strengthening this partnership is the plan to establish the Saudi British Business Holding Company. Based in Saudi Arabia, this organisation will be a partnership between the British and Saudi private sectors involved in a wide range of projects both in energy and industry.
New opportunities are also emerging in service industries like finance, education, health, information and communications technology. Our aim is to create a world class business environment that combines an ease of conducting business with low costs.
Although our relationship is founded on trade and common strategic interests, it has developed into a friendship with an ever growing number of cultural and educational ties as well as economic links. There are currently more than 20,000 Saudi students enrolled in universities in the UK and Ireland, bringing the number of Saudi nationals living and working in the UK to over 35,000, with many other Saudi families visiting the UK for their vacation. There are also about 25,000 British nationals living and working in Saudi Arabia and we welcome a further 25,000 British citizens annually on the Hajj. In all, as many as 100,000 UK citizens visit Saudi Arabia every year.
Better international understanding is built through this exchange as well as through ordinary working relationships and the meetings of politicians and opinion formers. We want to see our friends in the UK pursue the huge opportunities on offer in Saudi Arabia. The Commercial Office, Economic Office and SAGIA in the London embassy are open to all trade and investment enquiries. We invite you to share in the continuing evolution of Saudi Arabia, where you will be received as friends and welcomed as business partners."