Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy hits 50% share of real GDP

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil activities hit a historic 50% share of the country’s real GDP in 2023, the highest level on record, according to an analysis of the General Authority for Statistics data by the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

This translates to a non-oil economy valued at SAR1.7 trillion (approximately $453 billion) at constant prices, fueled by consistent growth in investment, consumer spending, and exports, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The significant contribution from non-oil sectors is attributed to a surge in private-sector investment over the past two years, with a remarkable growth rate of 57%. This has pushed private investment to a record high of SAR959 billion riyals ($254 billion ) in 2023.

Arts and entertainment activities led the pack with an exceptional 106% growth between 2021 and 2022. Other sectors like accommodation, food services, transportation, and storage also witnessed robust growth, expanding by 77% and 29%, respectively.

The growth in non-oil activities during 2023 is noteworthy for its diversity and momentum across various sectors. Social services, including healthcare, education, and entertainment, saw a 10.8% increase, followed by transportation and communication (3.7%) and trade, restaurants, and hotels (7%).

Real service exports, primarily driven by tourist spending, have skyrocketed over the past two years, experiencing a growth rate of 319%. This reflects the significant impact of Saudi Arabia’s transformation into a global tourism and entertainment destination, further propelling economic diversification and growth engines.

This surge aligns perfectly with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve a thriving economy by diversifying growth drivers. It also underscores the Kingdom’s success in implementing key programs and projects outlined in the vision, fostering the development of new sectors that contribute to higher growth rates.

Asharq Al Awsat

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