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Jeddah Forum on Saudi Arabia's Membership in WTO Starts Today - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Jeddah Asharq Al-Awsat- A forum entitled “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” began its deliberations here today.

The forum which will review chances and challenges that might face the Saudi business institutions, is attended by 350 economic and business personalities in addition to a number of researchers and academicians.

The participants of the two-day forum will review the impact of the Kingdom’s admission to the WTO as well as means of developing the human resources under the phenomenon of globalization.

Addressing the forum, Dr Fawz Al-Alami, the head of the negotiating team for the admission of the Kingdom to the WTO, said Saudi Arabia’s second economic boon has made it clear that the Gross National Product (GNP) has jumped for the first time to about SR 1.3 trillion while the surplus of the commercial balance has amounted to 30 percent of the GNP, the economic growth rate has amounted to 23 percent , the budget’s surplus has increased to 50 percent and 13 percent of the GNP.

He pointed out that the cash available in the Kingdom has reached about 50 percent of the GNP and it is sufficient to finance about 20 percent of the growth of the annual expenditures for a number of years.

Saudi Arabia’s GNP will be twice the GNP of all Arab Countries in the next two years, Al-Alami said.

He noted that the growth rate of non-oil economic activities is still weak and the private sector depends to a great extent on the oil revenues.

Al-Alami said 95 percent of the Kingdom’s imports are manufactured commodities or semi-manufactured commodities.

“Foreign trade constitutes 70 percent of the GNP and the exports of oil and its derivatives constitute 87 percent of the Kingdom’s exports,” he said.

“Non oil exports constitute only 11 percent of the total exports,” he added.

Al-Alami pointed out that the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GNP does not exceed 4 percent, adding that the contribution of the industrial sector to the GNP does not exceed 10 percent.

As regards the services sector, he said its contribution to the GNP is not more than 40 percent.

The Kingdom faces challenges and therefore efforts should be exerted to reach the desired goals, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s GNP will be twice the GNP of all Arab Countries in the next two years, Al-Alami said.

He noted that the growth rate of non-oil economic activities is still weak and the private sector depends to a great extent on the oil revenues.

Al-Alami said 95 percent of the Kingdom’s imports are manufactured commodities or semi-manufactured commodities.

“Foreign trade constitutes 70 percent of the GNP and the exports of oil and its derivatives constitute 87 percent of the Kingdom’s exports,” he said.

“Non oil exports constitute only 11 percent of the total exports,” he added.

Al-Alami pointed out that the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GNP does not exceed 4 percent, adding that the contribution of the industrial sector to the GNP does not exceed 10 percent.

As regards the services sector, he said its contribution to the GNP is not more than 40 percent.

The Kingdom faces challenges and therefore efforts should be exerted to reach the desired goals, he said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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