Education and Economic Development in Saudi Arabia
Economical and political turmoil was witnessed in parts of North Africa and Middle East since 2011, but it has not affected Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has remained stable and many foreign investors still view it as an attractive and promising place to do business.
The Kingdom’s currency, Saudi Riyal, is one of the world’s most stable currencies and it has not witnessed any compelling change in its exchange value during the last three decades.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s 25 largest economies. It is the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA). Hence, major MNCs have invested in the Kingdom.
The country has a very fast growing economy, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2014 reached over 8%. Thus, the ever growing economy is creating great opportunities for both exporters and investors. The industry is rapidly growing because the economy is being diversified. It has further resulted in economic reform, market liberalization and a growing private sector.
Saudi Arabia has significant cost advantages because of low domestic cost of energy. The industrial lands are also available in the major vicinities due to generous subsidies and incentives. The Kingdom provides duty free access to other MENA and GCC economies and has good transport and infrastructure links.
Exporters and Investors in Saudi Arabia enjoy the benefits of well-developed business clusters and economic assurance that set the Kingdom apart from its neighbors and from other emerging economies. The World Economic Forum has ranked Saudi Arabia, 6th globally, for Local Supplier Quantity. It has placed the Kingdom at 24th rank for Production Process Improvement and Value Chain Breadth. Saudi Arabia’s domestic industries are well established, competitive and economical. It varies from industrial projects to transportation, producing energy to providing education and provides exceptional opportunities for cost savings. Now, the industries like Oil, gas and petrochemicals are not only the major source of development. Education, training and human capital development has seen tremendous growth over the years.
In recent times, The Kingdom has introduced a total reform of the present education system. It has sanctioned huge funds to build new educational institutes and collaborated with International Universities for training program and overseas degrees for Saudi students. Many investors are showing keen interest to be a part of this growing industry in Saudi Arabia, and hence making foreign investment in education to meet rapid growth demands.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is investing billions of dollars in setting up four Economic Cities in different parts of the country. They are Knowledge Economic City (Al Medina), King Abdullah Economic City (Rabigh, Jeddah), Jazan Economic City (Jazan City), and Prince Abdul Aziz bin Mousdaed Economic City (Hail).
These ventures will be public-private partnerships that will invite foreign companies to make attractive investments. Every project is designed to boost investment potential in all sectors, and deliver substantial advantages to business located in that region. All the cities will help in promoting economic diversification and the market analyst believe that it will create over a million new job opportunities.