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Saudi Arabia’s Economy Continues to Surge, Creating More Jobs

Saudi Arabia : 20 July 2010

Experts are predicting that the rate of growth of the Saudi Arabian economy this year will be 3.6% higher than it was last year. This will impact on the Saudi job market and create more opportunities for people looking for jobs in the kingdom.

In 2009 the kingdom’s economy saw a growth rate of 0.1% while this year it is expected to increase to 3.7%. This is largely due to increased spending and revenues from the Saudi Arabian government, a leading economist has said.

According to the senior vice-president of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), Al Shaikh, who is also the bank’s chief economist, the fact that the oil price has averaged $75 per barrel during 2010 is one of the reasons that the economy is doing so well.

Just two months ago, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance, Ibrahim Al Assaf reported that the government had awarded a total number of 652 contracts for various projects that are part of the government’s ongoing, five-year program that aims to develop the country’s infrastructure. These were worth as much as SR40-billion or Dh39.18-billion and only related to projects that had been awarded between January and April 2010.

He confirmed that the monumental programme, which relies on government investment from its reserves accumulated from exporting oil, was intended to boost economic growth. This would also stimulate the job market, creating many more opportunities for Saudis to find work.

As the price of oil continues to rise, he said, it was expected that the country would report a “budget surplus” of some SR91-billion.

He said that the Saudi Arabian Monetary agency (Sama), which is the central bank in the kingdom, was expecting its foreign financial assets to increase. At the time (in May), the net foreign assets of Sama had resumed “month-on-month growth at 0.5%” and these assets had grown 5.2% annually, which was unsurpassed.

The Minister said it was expected that the foreign currency reserves of the kingdom would increase to a staggering $445-billion this year. In addition, the lending capacity of the central bank was likely to increase by between six and eight percent.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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