With a nominal GDP of $435 billion in 2010 ($510 billion estimated in 2011), Saudi Arabia is the largest and most stable economy in the Gulf. The Saudi economy weathered the recent economic and financial crisis far better than other economies in the area, thanks largely to its prudent, conservative economic and financial policies.
Saudi Arabia’s economic performance remained strong in 2010 despite the world economic crisis. The country’s real non-oil GDP growth was 3.7% in 2010. In 2008, per capita GDP in Saudi Arabia rose to its highest level in 27 years, to $18,651. This increase is even more impressive considering that the last increase of this magnitude occurred when the population of the Kingdom was 9.8 million, compared to the current 27 million.
Saudis have been doing business with Americans much longer than they have with any other major economic power, going back to the 1930s. Since then, American know-how, expertise, and assistance have significantly contributed to the expansion and modernization of the Saudi economy. Saudi business people are familiar with Americans and with the way Americans do business. Saudi business people, for the most part educated in the United States and fully conversant in English, genuinely like and respect Americans and actually want to do business with us. Business people in Saudi Arabia welcome offers of cooperation and partnership with U.S. companies.
The size and continued growth of the Saudi economy, the fact that the Saudi currency or riyal is pegged to the U.S. dollar (at 3.75 riyals per dollar), and the pro-American outlook of Saudi business circles, all make Saudi Arabia an indispensable partner for U.S. companies who are serious about doing business in the Middle East.
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