From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2015
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While hydrocarbons continue to form the bulk of Saudi Arabia’s revenues, the government has placed an increasing emphasis on economic diversification in recent times. Indeed the Kingdom’s economic growth is now being driven primarily by the non-oil sector, which expanded at a rate of 5% in the decade to 2014. Although low oil prices and the government’s commitment to maintaining spending levels mean the country is expected to run a fiscal deficit in 2015, Saudi Arabia’s ample fiscal reserves suggest it is well positioned to ride out the dip over the medium term. In the meantime, diversification drives will continue, with Saudi Arabia’s 10th Development Plan placing renewed emphasis on education and private sector development. Foreign companies are expected to benefit from the roll-out of e-government in public tendering, which authorities hope will make the system more efficient for foreign investors. This chapter contains interviews with Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud, President, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST); Mofarrej Al Haqbani, Minister of Labour; and Ibrahim Al Hunaishel, Director-General, Saudi Credit and Savings Bank (SCSB).