Saudi Arabia's industrial sector recorded growth of 5.5 percent in 1999, while industrial investments totaled more than $60 billion, Saudi Industry Minister Hisham bin Abdullah al-Yamani said Tuesday.
"During 1999, the Saudi industrial sector had growth of 5.5 percent ... while investments in industrial projects totaled $64 billion up to the year 2000," Yamani said in a statement from the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
He said that the value of Saudi industrial products, mainly petrochemicals, reached $22 billion in 1999, of which around a quarter represented the kingdom's industrial exports.
"The contribution of the industrial sector to gross domestic product (GDP) has risen from five percent in 1980 to 10 percent in the year 2000 ... and should reach 20 percent over the next 20 years," the Saudi minister added.
The seventh five year plan for economic development (2000-2005), agreed in August by the Saudi government, predicts annual growth of 3.16 percent in GDP. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)