Saudi Arabia’s GDP and Trade on the Rise

Saudi Arabia's GDP and Trade on the Rise

In the first quarter of 2024, Saudi Arabia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.3% compared to the previous quarter, driven by increases in both oil (2.4%) and non-oil sectors (0.5%), as reported by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT). Non-oil activities saw a year-on-year increase of 2.8%, indicating strong non-oil sector performance.

Throughout 2023, Saudi Arabia’s GDP contracted by 0.8% from the previous year, with non-oil sectors growing by 4.4%, reflecting the ongoing economic diversification efforts. Conversely, international trade figures from 2023 showed a 13.7% drop in non-oil exports and a 22.2% decline in overall merchandise exports, primarily due to a substantial decrease in oil exports. Nevertheless, imports increased by 9%, leading to a trade surplus of SAR 424 billion.

China remained Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner in 2023, with significant trade volumes also with Japan and India. The Jeddah Islamic Port was the primary entry for imports, handling 29.3% of the total.

As Saudi Arabia progresses with its Vision 2030 goals, the balance between oil and non-oil growth, alongside strategic trade relationships, will be key to shaping its economic future.

Company Setup in Saudi Arabia

Setting up a company in Saudi Arabia offers benefits due to its growing non-oil sector and the government’s push for economic diversification under Vision 2030. Strategic location and significant trade links with major global economies enhance business prospects, particularly through key ports like Jeddah Islamic Port. Initiatives to improve the business environment include easing regulations and providing incentives for foreign investors. Saudi Arabia’s focus on sectors outside oil, like technology and renewable energy, aligns with global economic trends and offers new opportunities. The country’s economic stability, marked by a substantial trade surplus and ongoing infrastructure investments, creates a secure base for business operations.


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