Saudi Arabia continues to post strong economic growth on the back of its thriving petroleum sector anchored by a steady political and financial base. One of the largest exporters of oil worldwide, the country has also had some of the highest economic growth rates. Real GDP growth was forecast at 6.8% for 2012, following 8.5% expansion in 2011 and 4.8% in 2010. However, a new wave of strong state expenditures has spread revenues across a wide array of economic subsectors. As a result, the government has been able to accelerate its long-term strategic goal of economic diversification away from oil as well as address key social issues like education, employment and the availability of affordable housing. Looking ahead, the state’s continued investments in both infrastructure and social services should continue to fuel domestic growth, particularly in the private sector.
This chapter includes interviews with Zafer Çağlayan, Turkey’s Minister of Economy; Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner; and Muhammad Al Jasser, Minister of Economy and Planning.