This article is about Business Leaders – Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an immensely rich country, fuelled by oil – no pun intended. The country supplies 25 % of the world’s oil, and has at least enough reserves for over a decade more, of supplying. The country’s debt is only 17.7 % of gross domestic product, better than the majority of world economies. With revenues of $205 billion, and expenses of just $146 billion, the Saudi economy is very stable, and has shown significant, consistent growth.
On the flip-side, the country’s economy is planned, and heavily regulated by the government. Very few private enterprises exist, and those that do are still greatly influenced by the government. Most of the country’s gross domestic product comes from its vast oil exports, and much of the working population is employed in this industry. 90 % of Saudi exports, by value, are accounted for by oil and more than three-quarters of government revenue is fuelled by the petroleum industry.
As mentioned before, the Saudi economy, though wealthy, is highly government controlled, and this has resulted in a single company being responsible for 95 % of exports from the nation – Saudi Aramco. It is the largest oil corporation in the world, with the most reserves, and also the largest employer in Saudi Arabia with over 50,000 employees.
One disadvantage to the Saudi economy is its inevitable recession when oil prices fall. The economy is effectively pegged to the price of oil and has, in the past, found itself with a deficit (uncommon for Saudi Arabia) due to external factors that influence the demand for oil and, consequently, oil prices.
To counteract this, Saudi Arabia championed measures by international oil influences to “regulate” the price of oil by careful control of production, and supply, preventing a glut in the market, and the resulting price collapse. Such measures have proved largely successful, the Saudi economy shows no signs of slowing down, and the government has even invested billions in long term projects to capitalize of their oil industry.