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Saudi Businessmen Get ‘Reality Check’ from Europe

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia : 28 June 2010

The Chief Economist of the Banque Saudi Fransi, John Sfakianakis has said that the global economy’s ‘fragility’ has mean that Saudi businessmen have had a ‘reality check’ about the pace of the expected growth of the Saudi economy and as a result they are now more ‘guarded’. 

The price of oil has played a key role in Saudi business expectations from Europe, said Sfakianakis, with the price of crude dropping this year to below $60 per barrel.  This has meant the oil producing countries have had a tougher time balancing their budgets and laying aside money for future ‘investment plans’.

According to his figures, around a third of Saudi’s current imports come from European countries and the Kingdom is rapidly increasing its rate of exports to Europe, with the figures jumping threefold from 2003 – 2008.   Europe only accounts for 10.5% of exports from Saudi Arabia, however, with the biggest trading partners for the country being Asia where approximately 50% of Saudi exported goods are now sent.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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