IsDB Group annual meetings conclude with 85 agreements worth over $8bn 

IsDB Group annual meetings conclude with 85 agreements worth over $8bn 
IsDB Group annual meetings conclude with 85 agreements worth over $8bn 

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s real gross domestic product saw a 1.3 percent rise in the first three months of this year compared to the previous quarter, official data showed. 

According to the General Authority for Statistics, this rise in real GDP was propelled by oil and non-oil activities which increased by 2.4 percent and 0.5 percent during the period, respectively.  

On the other hand, government activities in the Kingdom witnessed a decline of 1 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the last quarter of 2023.  

However, GASTAT revealed that Saudi Arabia’s real GDP decreased by 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period of the preceding year.  

The authority attributed this decline to a drop in oil activities, which decreased by 10.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. The fall in oil exports stemmed from the Kingdom’s decision to curtail crude output, in line with an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+. 

In a bid to maintain market stability, Saudi Arabia decreased its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day in April 2023, a measure that has now been extended until December 2024.  

Meanwhile, non-oil activities in the Kingdom witnessed a 2.8 percent year-on-year increase in the first quarter, with government activities experiencing a growth of 2 percent during the same period.

Strengthening the non-oil private sector is crucial for Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom is steadily reducing its dependence on oil, aligned with the economic diversification efforts outlined in Vision 2030.

In March, another report released by GASTAT revealed that Saudi Arabia’s GDP decreased by 0.8 percent in 2023, compared to 2022. 

On the other hand, the Kingdom’s non-oil activities demonstrated significant growth of 4.4 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year. 

In 2023, the Kingdom’s government activities also witnessed a rise of 2.1 percent compared to 2022. 

GASTAT releases International Trade report

On April 30, GASTAT also released its international trade report, which indicated that Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports, including re-exports, declined 13.7 percent to SR272.37 billion ($72.62 billion) in 2023 compared to 2022. 

The analysis revealed that the Kingdom’s overall merchandise exports also fell by 22.2 percent year-on-year in 2023 to SR1.2 trillion, driven by a 24.3 percent decrease in oil exports during the period. 

Consequently, the percentage of oil exports out of total exports decreased to 77.3 percent in 2023 from 79.5 percent in 2022. 

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s imports rose by 9 percent in 2023 to SR776 billion compared to the year-ago period. 

The report also revealed that Saudi Arabia’s trade balance surplus stood at SR424 billion in 2023. 

China was Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner in 2023, with exports to the Asian nation amounting to SR199.3 billion or 16.6 percent of the total exports. 

Japan and India closely followed China with $121.83 billion and 113.35 billion, respectively. 

According to GASTAT, South Korea, the US, and the UAE, as well as Bahrain, Taiwan and Malaysia were the other countries that ranked in the top 10 destinations for Saudi Arabia’s exports. 

On the other hand, imports from China to Saudi Arabia amounted to SR162.55 billion in 2023, followed by the US and the UAE with SR70.50 billion and SR50.05 billion, respectively. 

India, Germany, and Japan, along with Switzerland, South Korea, and Italy, were the other countries that ranked in the top 10 countries for imports.

The report revealed that the Jeddah Islamic Port topped the list of terminals through which goods reached the Kingdom in 2023 at a value of SR227.38 billion, corresponding to 29.3 percent of the total imports.

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