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