Venture to Saudi Arabia with IE Singapore
Major trading partner
Saudi Arabia’s stable economic and political climate makes it an attractive partner for trade and investment. In 2006, Singapore and Saudi Arabia signed an investment guarantee agreement to promote greater mutual investment between both countries, as well as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on trade cooperation. An Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement also came into force in 2011.
Saudi Arabia is one of Singapore’s largest trading partners in the Middle East. In 2017, Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority's vice-chairman also noted that Singapore-based firms are among the most active Asian investors in the kingdom1.
World's top oil producer
Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil producer, producing 10.5 million barrels and exporting 7.5 million barrels of crude oil a day2. In 2017, its national oil company, Saudi Aramco, announced plans to invest US$300 billion over the next ten years in upstream oil and gas projects. Aramco is also expected to make an initial public offering in 2018.
Biggest market in the Gulf region
Saudi Arabia is the biggest market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with a population of 26.8 million3, representing a huge potential customer base for Singapore’s consumer goods companies. There are opportunities for educational and vocational training companies too, as the country looks to upgrade its citizens’ skills.
Venture to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC and the larger Middle East, with an estimated GDP of US$678.5 billion in 2016. It has a strong financial standing, with foreign currency reserves of US$535.8 billion at the end of 2016.
In the wake of lower oil prices, the government looked more closely at privatisation and diversification of the economy, such as the impending public listing of shares in state-owned oil company Aramco. Potential industries for greater private investment include healthcare, education and tourism.
1: The Straits Times
2: Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, 2016
3: CIA World Factbook, 2016