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Non Oil Exports Hit Surpass SR 48 Billion in Saudi as Qatar Reports 5 Percent Growth in GDP and UAE Receives $9.6 Billion In Capital

Middle East : 28 June 2013

Saudi Arabian Non Oil Exports Surpass SAR 46 Billion

The total value of non-oil exports in Saudi Arabia dropped by 2.1 percent, from last year’s value of SR 47.84bn to SR 46.84bn, according to the CDSI (or Central Department of Statistics and Information).

Petrochemicals lead the list at SR 16.88 billion in value, accounting for 36.05 percent of overall non-oil exports. Plastic products came in at SR 14.31 billion, accounting for 30.55 percent of total non-oil exports. Ordinary metals and related products accounted for 7.11 percent.

China led the list of Saudi’s importers for the first quarter, accounting for 12.98 percent of total exports. The UAE came in second at 11.31 percent with India in third place at 5.79 percent.

Imports moved up in the first quarter, jumping 13.5 percent and hitting SR 154.92 billion, according to the CDSI report.

The highest import position belonged to equipment, machinery and electrical utensils, valued at SR 42.84 billion in the first quarter and accounting for 27.65 percent of overall imports. Transport materials came next, at SR 27.79 billion and accounting for 17.93 percent. Metal products totaled SR 19.55 billion and accounted for 12.62 percent.

The United States was reported as the largest exporter to Saudi Arabia, accounting for 13.32 percent of overall Saudi Arabian imports. China accounted for 12.5 percent and South Korea brought in 6.62 percent, according to the CDSI report.

GDP Growth Rate in Qatar Reaches 5 Percent

Qatar is experiencing 5 percent GDP growth this year and is forecasted to hit 4.9 percent GDP growth next year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (or BOAML). CPI inflation rates are expected to hit 2 percent in 2013 and move to 2.5 percent next year.

The IMF projected 5.2 percent GDP growth for Qatar, driven mainly by healthy non-hydrocarbon growth. Over the mid-term IMF figures forecast a “strong economic outlook” for the nation, with the report indicating a nominal GDP of more than $191 billion, up from $184.7 billion in the previous year.

QNB reported that real GDP growth in Qatar should hit 6.5 percent in 2013, moving up to 6.8 percent the following year, driven by expanded economic diversification and the performance of the non-oil sector.

The contribution of non-oil and gas moved from 40.7 percent in 2011, up to 42.2 percent last year. Indicating the non-oil sector’s greater contribution to growth, the money supply in Qatar rose to QR 419 billion in March 2013.

According to a recent QNB study, private sector deposits fueled these figures. Over the opening quarter of 2013, Qatar experienced the highest growth in money supply across the region, reporting 37.4 percent.

As time runs up to the 2022 World Cup event, Qatar remains focused on rolling out projects, driving diversification and growth within the non-oil sector.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (or BOAML) reported rising inflation, mainly determining by the CPI and coming in at 2 percent for the current year and 2.55 the following. BOAML did not offer citations or reasons for the inflation jump, but in the past, rising rents due to population growth has affected inflation.

According to the QNB, overall inflation went up 3.6 percent Y-O-Y and reach 2.4 percent, up 0.4 percent for month-on-month.

After the building boom that occurred back in 2006 post-Doha Asian Games, bottlenecks and other paperwork drove the supply of materials down and the inflation rate up to 15.2 percent.

Another phase of booming looms for the nation and is set to include $140 billion for stadiums, railways, airports, roads and other infrastructure, all before the 2022 World Cup kicks off.

UAE Received $9.6 Billion in Capital Last Year

Foreign investors directed almost $9.6 billion into the UAE in 2012, driving the country into the position as the second-largest recipient of FDI in the Arab world, coming in behind Saudi Arabia according to recent reports.

FDI fell in Saudi Arabia last year, while the UAE experienced a rise in FDI for the third year in a row. The UAE was one of only a few Arab countries to report high levels of FDI growth in 2012, as reported by data from IAIGC of Kuwait.

FDI dropped significantly in the UAE back in 2010, hitting $5.5 billion and following the global trends resulting from the worldwide financial distress. Capital bounced back in 2011, reaching almost $7.67 billion and continuing to grow last year.

Data from the IAAGC placed Saudi Arabia in top spot as the largest FDI recipient in the Arab world with $12.18 billion and despite a drop the year before.

Lebanon nabbed the third slot with $3.67 billion and Algeria came in fourth at almost $2.9 billion. FDI flow to Morocco was reported at $2.88 billion, with Egypt’s figure coming in $2.79 billion and Sudan’s at $2.48 billion. Tunisia reported $1.9 billion in FDI, while Oman reported $1.48 billion.

Overall FDI in Arab nations rose by almost 9.8 percent to reach $47 billion last year, up from $42.9 billion in the previous year.

Fourteen of the Arab League member states reported higher levels of FDI inflow, while just five nations reported a drop, including Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Total FDI inflow has reached $82.2 billion since the UAE was founded 42 years ago, making it the second largest destination for foreign investments in the Arab world. Total capital inflow to Saudi Arabia reached about $186.8 billion in the same period.

In terms of capital outflow, the UAE remained on top as the Arab world’s largest capital exporter, directing along $57.7 billion into foreign markets.

Saudi Arabia took second place in that data, with FDI outflow reaching $29.9 billion.

Kuwait came in third place, at about $22 billion, despite the fact that Kuwait was deemed one of the least attractive FDI destinations in the region. Capital inflow to Kuwait reached $11 billion until the close of 2012.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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