Saudi Arabia

Last updated: October 29, 2019

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait to the north, Qatar and the UAE to the east, and Yemen and Oman to the south. There is an artificially created land border with Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway. The capital, Riyadh, is inland. The economic and trade metropolis of Jeddah is located on the Red Sea in the west, not far from the holy city of Mecca. Saudi Arabia has between 30 and 35 million inhabitants, around 35 percent of whom are foreigners. The country is about six times the size of Germany.

SM King Salman bin Abdulaziz has been running state and government affairs since 2015. At the head of the state, he is probably the last son of Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, who united the kingdom in 1932. Since June 2017, HH Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been in the line of succession, a grandson of the founder of the state.

Saudi Arabia is also in a time of economic upheaval that – if successful – will fundamentally change the country. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is only 34 years old and the driving force behind both the intervention in Yemen in his role as defense minister and behind Vision 2030 in his role as chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. In addition to diversifying the economy, this large-scale social program also includes greater involvement of Saudi Arabia’s women; For example, since June 2018 they have been legally allowed to drive vehicles.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter. A large part of the state revenue is generated from the oil business. This is one of the reasons why Vision 2030 envisages a fundamental restructuring of Saudi Arabia’s economy, from a pension to a knowledge economy. The estimated investment volume is four trillion US dollars and is split between several mega-projects. The extent to which the planned projects can be completed on time is questionable. However, even a partial success would change the Saudi economy significantly. The numerous investment projects result in a wide range of trading and investment opportunities for companies with extensive know-how in the respective industry. This is also reflected in that  The World Bank’s Doing Business Index 2020 . In the 2019 survey, Saudi Arabia was among the top 10 countries in the world for improving economic regulations and the business climate.

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