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Saudi Roundup: Building a Sustainable Future

Saudi Weekly Roundups

25 Jun 2024

Dunya Hassanein

This week’s round-up includes the instrumental growth in Saudi's non-oil sector and takes a look at the latest in the Kingdom's most strategic sectors such construction and manufacturing.

From 11 June to 25 June 2024

General News

Saudi Arabia Tops G20 in GDP Growth

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that Saudi Arabia’s growth reached 1.4% at $270 billion in the first quarter of 2024. In comparison, GDP growth in the G20 averaged 0.9% quarter-on-quarter.

The Kingdom’s Q1 growth was supported by non-oil activities, particularly wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels.

Saudi Arabia FDI Reaches $65 Billion Post-Pandemic

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, The Kingdom received $65.1 billion in foreign direct investment in the three years from the end of the pandemic to 2023. FDI outflows amounted to $16 billion last year.

The figures put Saudi Arabia among the top 20 global economies for FDI outflows. The country’s success has been driven by the National Investment Strategy and Vision 2030 objectives, which mandated legal, economic, and social transformation to stimulate FDI.

Chemicals Sector Drives Saudi Arabia’s $955 Million Mergers and Acquisitions Volume

According to figures from Dealogic, the financial markets platform, Saudi Arabia’s M&A volume, a key lever for growth, reached $955 million in the first quarter of 2024.

More than half of this ($500 million worth of deals) can be attributed to the chemicals sector.

Dealogic also identified the professional services, technology, retail, and insurance sectors as key drivers of M&A volume.

Kingdom Anticipates 300 Millionaires in 2024

A report from UK consultancy firm Henley & Partners highlights Saudi Arabia’s increasing popularity among immigrant millionaires. Saudi Arabia could welcome as many as 300 millionaires as the country continues to attract high-net worth individuals.

Dominic Volek, the Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, noted that the anticipated migration of millionaires worldwide signals a meaningful change in global landscapes and the fate of the nations they leave and enter.

Saudi Arabia’s Trade Surplus Peaks at $11 Billion in April

According to the General Authority for Statistics, Saudi Arabia’s trade balance surplus reached a yearly high of $11.04 billion in April, a 36% increase compared to the previous month.

The growth is attributed largely to a surge in non-oil exports, highlighting the government’s ongoing commitment to economic diversification to balance the country’s economic structure.

Kingdom Reaches 16th Place in World Competitiveness Index

A report from the International Institute for Management Development shows that Saudi Arabia has climbed to 16th out of 67 countries in the World Competitiveness Index 2024. The Kingdom was at 32nd place in 2021 and 24th in 2022.

Saudi Arabia ranks 4th among G20 countries, above Japan, India, the UK, and others. It is a world leader in many indicators, including economic resilience, digital transformation, and funding for technological development. Its success has been driven by its economic diversification efforts, supported by Vision 2030.


Kingdom’s Hospitality Revenue Set for CAGR of 7.5% from 2023 to 2028

A report from investment banking advisory firm Alpen Capital notes that government initiatives are driving Saudi Arabia’s expected compound annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2023 to 2028.

Knight Frank official Turab Saleem highlighted the contributions of Saudi cultural and entertainment offerings, such as the Jeddah F1 Grand Prix, theme parks – of which the Saudi General Entertainment Authority licensed 24 over the last year – and hosting the 2030 World Expo, which is expected to attract 40 million visitors and add $94.6 billion to the economy.


Giga Projects Driving Saudi Construction Sector

Global consultancy company Turner & Townsend has reported that government-backed initiatives like NEOM and Saudi Vision 2030 are attracting significant local and foreign investment in the $1.5 trillion Saudi construction sector.

The report on construction sector growth emphasizes the contributions made by the Regional Headquarters Program, which attracts global corporate occupiers, and preparations for EXPO 2030 and the 2034 FIFA World Cup.


Dyna.AI to Boost Saudi Arabia Fintech

Saudi Arabia’s booming fintech sector has attracted many cutting-edge companies, including Singaporean AI firm Dyna.AI, which aims to grow its brand and Saudi fintech through its physical presence and partnerships in the Kingdom. The firm anticipates having a major impact on Saudi financial services through evolving the AI ecosystem.

According to Dyna.Ai Chairman Tomas Skoumal, Saudi Arabia can expect to reap $135.2 billion from artificial intelligence solutions. He emphasized the Kingdom’s geographical location and vibrant economy as key drivers for AI adoption in the region.


Kingdom Among Leaders on Global Energy Transition List

The World Economic Forum ranks Saudi Arabia third among Gulf nations and 58th out of 120 countries according to indicators including environmental sustainability and transition readiness.

The ranking reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to developing and adopting new technologies. The Saudi Green Initiative, launched in 2021, targets climate change and carbon emissions. The country also leads the Middle East Green Initiative and aims to achieve Net Zero by 2060.

Kingdom Launches Record-Breaking Geographic Survey on Renewable Energy

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud inaugurated the Geographic Survey Project for Renewable Energy. The world’s largest renewable energy survey will identify the best sites for solar and wind power initiatives in the Kingdom.

The minister emphasized that this globally significant project will involve installing 1,200 measuring stations. The survey will result in multiple contracts awarded to Saudi businesses and contribute to achieving the country’s ambitious renewable energy targets.


Informatica to Further Saudi Digital Transformation

The Kingdom is poised to improve its tourism and services via a partnership with enterprise software developer Informatica Inc. CEO Amit Walia spoke at the Informatica Summit Saudi Arabia 2024 in Riyadh, organized to create a roadmap for making Saudi Arabia a cloud-first, data-driven nation before World Expo 2030

He emphasized the rapid growth of tourism in the Kingdom and intends to use cloud-based information-sharing to enhance the customer experience. These technological enhancements will facilitate modern business strategies and support Saudi infrastructure with better transportation, accommodation and leisure facilities.

This round-up underscores the Kingdom’s remarkable progress in regard to Vision 2030 initiatives and how the initiative is forging a path to a successful and profitable EXPO 2030 and FIFA World Cup in 2034.

Bookmark us to join us again for next week’s round-up of the major market moves across Saudi Arabia.

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