•Economic and Commercial Representation Abroad:
KSA has 14 commercial attachés abroad. The Ministry of Commerce and Investment plans to open more commercial attachés.
•Key Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) Indicators (2016):
-Tadawul closed at 7210 points in 2016, compared to 6911 points in 2015 – increasing by 299 points (4.3%).
-Total number of listed companies in Tadawul: 175 (representing various sectors).
-Total number of traded shares in 2016: 67.7 billion, compared to 65.9 billion in 2015.
-Total value of traded shares in 2016: SAR 1156 billion (USD 308.2 billion) - 30% drop compared to 2015.
-Total number of trades executed in 2016: 27.2 million, compared to 30.4 million in 2015 - 10.5% drop.
-The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is the Central Bank of KSA.
-SAMA’s reserve assets were estimated at SAR 2011 billion by the end of Q1 2016 - 2.8% drop compared to 2015.
-There are 24 commercial banks in KSA, including 12 branches of foreign banks.
-The total number of bank branches operating in KSA reached around 2038 branches by the end of 2016, compared to 1289 branches by the end of 2006. An additional 49 branches opened during 2016, averaging 4 new branches a month.
-There are five government lending institutions that specialize in the provision of loans in KSA: Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), Social Development Bank (SDB), Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and Real Estate Development Fund (REDF). All of which provide medium- and long-term loans and credit facilities.
-Loans provided by Saudi banks to the private sector increased by the end of February 2016 to SAR 1405 billion –10% increase, compared to the same period in the previous year (SAR 1278 billion)
•Development of the Tourism Sector
-KSA is celebrated for its many unique touristic advantages, including religious tourism (the Holy Mosque in Mecca and Holy Mosque in Madinah), various historical sites, and diverse climate.
-Total number of pilgrims in 2016: around 1.86 million, including 1.32 pilgrims from outside the Kingdom.
-Total number of pilgrims from inside the Kingdom: around 540 thousand, mostly non-Saudi citizens.
-Total number of non-Saudi pilgrims: 1.69 million, compared to 170.4 thousand Saudis, including 1.082 million males; 780.7 females.
-Tourism contribution to non-oil GDP: around 4.9%.
-Direct jobs in tourism sector: around 882.9 thousand, around 27.8% held by Saudis.
-Potential jobs (direct and indirect) in tourism sector by 2017: around 1.3 million, to rise to around 2.0 million by 2025.
-KSA ranked 63rd globally and 3rd in the GCC (among 136 countries) in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report issued by The World Economic Forum (2016/2017).
•Initiatives to Incentivize Private Sector Investments:
KSA’s initiatives include offering SAR 200 billion (USD 53 billion) as incentive to the private sector between 2017-2020 to diversify Saudi economy beyond oil. In addition to economic reforms, and the creation of economic and industrial cities, as well as technology zones, in various regions across the Kingdom.
1.Saudi Economic Cities:
KSA possesses four integrated economic cities that meet international standards, located at regions with comparative advantages:
-King Abdullah Economic City (181 sq km)
-Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mousaed Economic City in Hail.
-Knowledge Economic City in Madinah.
-Jazan Economic City.
The economic cities aim at developing the energy industry, activating the services sector, attracting knowledge, transferring technology, and creating jobs for Saudis.
2.Saudi Industrial Cities and Technology Zones:
Plans for industrial cities started around four decades ago. KSA’s industrial strategy aims mainly at increasing economic diversification, which is based on fostering manufacturing, and duplicating its contribution to GDP. The Kingdom continues its ambitious plan to create and expand industrial cities and technology zones fully equipped with financial, logistic, manufacturing, sports, educational, healthcare, and cultural services, among others.
There are over 29 cities (functioning and under development) that occupy around 160 sq km of land, with around 5000 factories (functioning and under constructions). In addition to several industrial cities under planning. The goal is to reach 40 industrial cities by the end of 2016.
3.Ambitious enterprises: Railways & Riyadh Metro:
-Riyadh Metro: Part of KSA’s plan to develop its public transportation network. It includes 6 main lines and 85 stations at a total length of 176 km, with the capacity to carry 1.2 million passengers daily. It is expected to be ready by 2018.
-The Land Bridge Project: Aims at connecting the Eastern and Western Regions of KSA at a total length of 1100 km. It is expected to be ready by 2020.