Non-oil exports by Saudi Arabia jumped 14 percent last year, as imports climbed eight percent, according to official figures published Tuesday, April 17.
The kingdom's non-oil exports — mainly petrochemicals, plastics and minerals — totaled 24.8 billion riyals ($6.6 billion) in 2000, up 3.2 billion riyals ($805 million) over 1999.
Imports hit 113.5 billion riyals ($30.3 billion), an increase of 8.5 billion riyals ($2.3 billion). Electrical equipment accounted for $6.7 billion, foodstuff for $5.4 billion and vehicles $5.3 billion.
Saudi Arabia, which is trying to diversify its economy to reduce dependence on oil, adopted a balanced budget for 2001 for the first time in more than 15 years and announced economic growth of 15.5 percent for 2000 thanks to high oil prices. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)