More money, more spending: Saudi Arabia's spending boom to reach $718 billion
Total volume of government spending in Saudi Arabia amounted to $718 billion during the last five years while investments during the same period reached $141 billion, a senior Saudi official told a major forum in Los Angeles.
“The size of the Saudi economy has quadrupled during the last 10 years to rank first among countries of the region and 19th at the global level,” said Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Addressing the US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum, he emphasized the growing economic and trade relations between the two countries.
The three-day event, which opened on Monday, focused on expanding cooperation in education, health, petrochemicals, water and electricity and infrastructure.
“The volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and US amounted to $77 billion in 2012,” Al-Othman said in Los Angeles.
The SAGIA chief invited Americans to invest in the Kingdom’s vital economic sectors.
Saudi Arabia is offering $1 trillion worth of investment opportunities.
Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, who was one of the keynote speakers, said 150 new US companies had entered the Saudi market last year.
“Our relationship is a true partnership and it goes beyond trade,” the minister said.
He referred to the new joint ventures including the Sadara Chemical Company involving Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical.
“Saudi Arabia has been focusing on transfer of technology to diversify its economy and develop its hydrocarbon sector,” Al-Rabiah said inviting more US investment in the thriving sector.
US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said trade between the two countries had tripled compared to what it was just a decade ago.
“Our department has helped more than 450 US companies export to Saudi Arabia for the first time,” she said noting that more such partnerships are expected as the Kingdom plans for infrastructure growth AND economic expansion.
“This gives US companies opportunities to team up to build a strong and vibrant Saudi economy,” she added.