Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s decision to weaken the link between hydrocarbons and economic growth, and pursue a policy of diversification has seen a wide range of projects come to fruition in the last several years. While at present the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented plunge in oil prices are causing significant short-term uncertainty, the reforms that have been put in place in recent years should stand the Kingdom in good stead over the longer term.

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How has the GCC petrochemical industry been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?

As Gulf countries look to rebound from the disruption of 2020, higher education institutions are playing a key role in meeting the needs of the region’s post-coronavirus economy.

– Economies in the region were hit by reduced trade volumes and lower oil prices

– Governments launched extensive stimulus packages to stabilise their economies

– Short-term recovery will be tied to oil prices and the resumption of travel

– The pandemic looks set to accelerate economic diversification efforts

While many Gulf nations were already working to diversify their economies prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent economic downturn and collapse in oil prices has meant that governments in the region have had to reassess and – in some cases – accelerate their strategic plans.

How do you rate Saudi Arabia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and what are the next steps for the country’s health services?

As countries within the Gulf begin a gradual easing of Covid-19-related movement restrictions, the revival of the region’s aviation sector has come into focus. Effective recovery strategies will rely on reassuring passengers that sufficient health and the safety measures are in place.

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