From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2015
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The abundance of hydrocarbons in the Kingdom has led to a proliferation of downstream petrochemicals businesses. The natural gas that is allocated to producers at a subsidised price forms a significant part of Saudi Arabia’s value proposition to foreign investors. Demand from rapidly expanding markets in Asia, as well as steady sales to established Asian centres, should ensure that the Kingdom’s petrochemicals industry strengthens its position in the medium term. Meanwhile, the country continues to focus efforts on diversifying non-oil growth, with the combined contribution of mining and non-oil manufacturing rising from 7.6% of GDP in 2012 to 8.2% in 2013 and 8.7% in 2014, while the Kingdom’s steel production increased by 15% from 2013 to 2014, the second-highest rise anywhere in the world. Four new economic cities are due for completion by 2020 in line with the country’s 10th Development Plan, which aims to deliver more even distribution of industrial development across the country.

This chapter contains interviews with Mohammed Al Kathiri, Secretary-General, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Mohanud Helal, Secretary-General, Economic Cities Authority (ECA).