Saudi Arabia’s trade with other countries witnessed huge increase during the period 1998-2007, amounting to 1525.64% and resulting in a trade balance surplus.
The surplus increased from SR32.99bn in 1998 to SR536.3bn in 2007 according to a report by the Central Department of Statistics and Information.
The report indicates that the most important countries to which Saudi Arabia exported were: The USA, Japan, South Korea, India, PRC, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, Bahrain and the Netherlands.
Exports accounted for about 72% of the total exports in the Kingdom. The most important national exports in 2007 were crude oil and its derivatives, plastics and related industries like polyethylene and polymers, chemical organic products, like ethylene glycol, beotal, Trimethyl Urea fertilizers.
Imports recorded their highest value in 2007 where they amounted to SR338.9bn.
The lowest value was recorded in 1999, amounting to SR104.9bn. USA, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea, UK, India, France and UAE were the major countries from which Saudi Arabia imported in 2007. Imports from those countries accounted for 63% of the total imports.
Saudi Arabia witnessed obvious success in foreign trade which exceeded SR900bn ($240bn) up to 2005. The number of joint Emirati projects in Saudi Arabia amounted to 114, both in the industry and services sectors. These projects are valued at SR15bn ($4bn).
Saudi Arabia’s trade with over 155 countries
Saudi Arabia has relations with more than 155 countries. Last year, non-oil exports amounted to SR79bn, targeting Gulf markets. As for Saudi trade, it witnessed high rates of growth as a result the increase in oil prices. The size of trade influenced the growth rate.
Saudi foreign trade recorded a strong growth of 40% between 2004, where it recorded SR640.2bn, and 2005 where it achieved over SR900bn, where non-oil exports accounted for SR79bn.
The volume of non-oil exports from the year 2000 to 2006 increased by SR8bn, at a rate of 11.26%.
The list of trade partners is dynamic and ever-changing. The USA and Japan remain, however, at the top of the list.
At the same time, there is a constant growth in trade with countries such as China, where trade exchange multiplied. In 2000, trading did not exceed SR4.5bn, but it amounted to SR16.5bn in 2005.
The volume of Saudi exports to China surpassed that of imports. In 2000, Saudi exports amounted to SR5.6bn and increased to SR40.5bn in 2005, at a rate of 600%. Saudi exports to India amounted to SR13bn in 2000, and exceeded SR40bn in 2005.
Trade between Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries is constantly growing. The establishment of the Custom Union in 2003 has further enhanced this trade. Saudi exports to the GCC grew by 47%, imports by 27%.
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