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Saudi Arabia, the world’s leader producer of Crude Oil tries to diversify it’s economy depending on 45% (of GDP) in Oil Rents (80% of its real revenues). Manufacturing sector remains steady at 10% and agriculture at 2% .The Agricultural percentage is a rational percentage as the country has some of the most well-known deserts in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s government is putting now more than $70 billion on the table in order to develop six new “economic cities” with modern buildings and business-friendly policies and regulations. Mars as well put its manufacturing plant in one of them, King Abdullah Economic City, on the Red Sea coast . It hopes these cities will host clusters in which firms from a particular industry huddle together, their proximity boosting their productivity and creativity, The Economist said.
Spearheaded by the government’s investment and diversification plan, Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy will maintain its positive growth trajectory and post increases of 5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, analysts are saying.
Infrastructure investments worth $1.1 trillion are envisaged on a range of high profile projects including the Riyadh and Makkah metros, $23 billion and $7 billion, respectively, the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport expansion, costing $4 billion, the $3.3 billion Shuqaiq power plant and the $3.5 billion Kudai Towers mixed-use development in Makkah.
As part of its plans to diversify the kingdom’s productive base, the government has been engaged in a number of initiatives directed at the real estate and small and medium enterprise (SME) sectors. In the former, the government is keen to increase both the supply and affordability of housing for nationals; homeownership levels of around 36 per cent are relatively low by international standards (Source: Trade Arabia).
Oil Production and Prices
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest oil producer, has refused to cut production despite willingness to do so by Venezuela and others. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has argued that curbing production would erode the kingdom’s market share and would have no impact on oil prices.
Saudi Arabia has strong financial reserves to weather lower oil prices, but Venezuela’s cash-strapped government is among the cartel’s most vulnerable. Analysts estimate that Venezuela needs oil at $110 per barrel to continue meeting its budgetary obligations.
Oil price continued to fell on Thursday 15th, eradicating the gains from Wednesday’s rally, as proceeded with worries about oversupply of crude oil counterbalanced the market. Crude oil is currently being negotiated at 47.20$ per barrel.
Learn More from Books:
Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats : Oil and the State in Saudi Arabia
Other News from Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia building massive fence along Iraqi border to keep out IS jihadists
SAUDI Arabia has begun constructing a 965km wall along its northern border with Iraq in an effort to keep out ISIL fanatics.
ISIL jihadists raided a post on the border near Judayyidat Ararm on January 5, killing three Saudi guards including a commander, in an apparent attack on the construction of the wall.
Four ISIL militants were also killed in the skirmish which included a suicide bombing (Source: News.com.au).
SAUDI ARABIA, FREE RAIF BADAWI:
Raif Badawi created a blog entitled ‘Saudi Arabian Liberials’, which he envisaged as a forum for political and social debate. He was subsequently charged for content he had posted to the site, including an article published on Valentine’s Day 2012 in which he was accused of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the Commission on the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – as well as failing to remove ‘offensive’ posts by other contributors.
Raif was arrested in June 2012. In May 2014 he was found guilty of breaking Saudi Arabia’s strict technology laws and insulting Islamic religious figures by creating and managing an online forum.
Just after Friday prayers on 9 January, Raif Badawi was led by Saudi officials out of a bus and into the middle of the square in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah. A large crowd had gathered to see the flogging.
Raif stood in the middle of the crowd, handcuffed and shackled by his ankles, his face uncovered. A security officer approached Raif and began caning him across the back and legs, until he had been beaten 50 times. A witness told us it took just five minutes to cane Raif 50 times; the lashes were constant and quick (Source: Amnesty International)