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Saudi Arabia’s economy joins trillion-dollar club: Report


Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) has exceeded the ceiling of $1 trillion (SAR 4.155 trillion) for the first time, with the Kingdom joining the trillion-dollar club and achieving the national goal well ahead of the target date of 2025, according to a new report.

The figures were revealed in a report by the Federation of Saudi Chambers, issued on Friday, on the Kingdom’s 93rd National Day, and released by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

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It comes during the same week when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Saudi economy was the fastest-growing among the Group of Twenty (G20) member-states in 2022.

The Saudi Chambers report detailed that the Kingdom had achieved a growth rate of 8.7 percent – the highest among the G20 member-states – spurred mainly by its production capabilities, which is reflected in the increase in the self-sufficiency rate of the Saudi economy to 81.2 percent, and the increase in the country’s investment rate (the invested percentage of output) to 27.3 percent.

The report indicated that the Saudi private sector will continue its strong role and performance – thanks to its status as an effective partner in the comprehensive development process and in achieving the goals of the ambitious Vision 2030.

The private sector’s contributions to GDP increased to $440 billion (SAR 1.634 trillion), or 41 percent of its GDP, with a growth rate of 5.3 percent, according to the report issued by the Federation of Saudi Chambers.

The number of workers in the private sector has increased from 8.084 million in 2021 to 9.422 million in 2022, with a growth rate of 16.6 percent, the report revealed.

Under the localization endeavor of the labor force, the number of Saudis working in the private sector has increased from 1.910 million in 2021 to 2.195 million in 2022, with a growth rate of 14.9 percent, which was reflected in an increase in the percentage of Saudi workers in the private sector to 58.2 percent.

The report highlighted the success of the Kingdom’s policies regarding diversification of the economic base and support for Saudi exports to global markets. While export of goods and services increased by 54.4 percent, the export capacity of the Saudi economy rose from 33 percent to 39.3 percent of the GDP. The value of exports of goods and services rose to 171.9 percent of the value of imports of goods and services in 2022 – up from 134.5 percent the previous year.

The value of non-oil exports reached $84 billion, with a growth rate of 13.7 percent, accounting for 20.5 percent of commodity exports and reaching 178 countries around the world.

The report projected Saudi economy and the private sector in the country to continue with their strong showing, citing various economic indicators, government support packages, and huge projects being implemented in various regions across the Kingdom.

According to the Global Competitiveness Report of the International Center for Management Development (IMD), the Kingdom ranks second in the world in terms of the growth rate of international tourists and is on the 51st spot in the Global Innovation Index. In keping with the overall economic trend, the rate of integration of the Saudi economy into the global economy registered a 63.1 percent increase.

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Almarai signs an MoU with the Authority of People with Disabilities to train and employ them.

Almarai Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Authority of People with
Disabilities to train, qualify and employ persons with disabilities. This came on the sidelines of
the First International Labor Market Conference, organized by the Ministry of Human Resources
and Social Development on December 13 – 14, 2023, at the King Abdulaziz Convention Center
in Riyadh.

The memorandum was signed by the Chief Human Resources Officer of Almarai Company,
Fahad Mohammed Aldrees, and the CEO of the Authority of People with Disabilities, Dr.
Hisham bin Muhammad Al-Haidari.

“This agreement comes within the framework of the company’s social responsibility program, as
Almarai employs more than 500 people with disabilities, which is one of the most suitable work
environments for them.” Fahad Aldrees said. Pointing out that Almarai has the “Silent Line”,
which is one of its production lines that is designated for people with hearing disabilities.

It is worth mentioning that Almarai supports over 300 charity organizations annually across the
kingdom that operate in the field of community development.

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Central Phuket Shopping Center Prepared Surprises This Christmas & New Year 2024

Central Phuket Shopping Center, the luxury lifestyle landmark o Phuket, invites everyone to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2024 in The Great Celebration 2024 Campaign. Joining hands with global partner ‘The Pokémon Company’, Central Phuket bring over Pokémon, the super cute character popular around the world, for all locals and international fans. The special campaign launch presents a procession of cute ‘Pikachu’ alongside with the giant Christmas tree for the first time in Thailand.
This December, Central Phuket prepared many activities for shoppers when visiting Phuket! Experience the “Surprise of the Day” with free Cotton Candy for our little ones, a sweet and fluffy treat, a special gift from Central Phuket. Bring your kids to enjoy this sweet treat every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of December. Don’t miss the Christmas Carol that
everyone loves, little Santas spread freshness by singing together in the Christmas Carol activity. Plus, Christmas Live Music, the festival of joy is back! Celebrate Christmas in a luxurious and classy atmosphere, enjoying the music that will bring us joy. Also, there will be Christmas Troop, Santa Claus is coming to town! The Santa troop will spread happiness throughout Central Phuket. Lastly, Cake Workshop, workshop activity with Chef Sebastien’s IRON CHEF Thailand teaching how to make Christmas Vanilla Cake. A special activity for the Christmas season. Moreover, Central Phuket provides special promotion exclusively for international tourists throughout December 23 – January 24 including:

1) Get Free! Tourist welcome discount package valued up to THB 10,000.
2) Receive THB 100 Gift voucher when spending up to THB 2,500 per receipt.
3) Get to buy ‘Happy Holiday Collections’ special price: Pokémon 2-in-1 pillow blanket, tumbler, travel bag set, and keychain. Visit redemption counter for the price.
4) Exclusive for Grab Users get discount code up to 25% off* when traveling to participating Central Shopping Centers.
5) Receive famous Elephant Pants when spending over THB 5,000 in shopping center.
6) Get Free! H&M THB 100 gift voucher when booking any accommodations in Phuket with Agoda. Terms and conditions apply.

Central Phuket is a home of global luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent. Exclusive for this season, Louis Vuitton launches a pop-up store located at Central Phuket. The design is inspired by the story of Damier or Checkerboard, the brand’s signature pattern. This classic pattern was created by Louis
Vuitton and his son Georges Vuitton in 1888 and has always been part of the design of Maison’s iconic items and concepts. Find clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories for men at the Pop-up Store from Louis Vuitton at Central Phuket, 1st floor, from today until 31 March 2024. And with over 500 renowned fashion brands and lifestyle shops ranging from local to international
well-known brands covering all categories, international shoppers will be able to find what they are looking for in Central Phuket.
Central Phuket is located in the heart of one of the world’s most famous beach cities, Phuket and await to welcome both locals and international visitors this holiday. Also, don’t miss one of the most joyful New Year Count Down events in Phuket city at Central Phuket Shopping Center on December 31, 2023.

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Saudi Fund for Development Provides $100 Million Development Loan for the Rogun Hydropower Project

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, signed a new development loan agreement with the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Kahhorzoda Fayziddin Sattor, through which SFD is contributing $100 million USD to fund the Rogun Hydropower Project, a landmark initiative that will enhance energy,
food, and water security, and foster sustainable development in the country. The signing was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Waleed Al-Reshiadan, and the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Akram Karimi, alongside other officials from both sides. SFD’s development loan will help contribute towards a more sustainable and equitable food and water future for Tajikistan, while driving the country’s energy transition and climate resilience. The project aims to contribute to the national energy security and will help advance sustainable
development in the Republic of Tajikistan, by providing the renewable electricity supply to meet local demand and expand electricity production domestically and regionally, producing 3600 MW of energy. The loan agreement will also finance the construction of a 335-meter-tall dam, which will enhance irrigation capabilities and bolster agricultural activities across the country. Additionally, the project will improve flood protection through the construction of four hydraulic
tunnels for diversion and drainage. It will also provide clean and drinkable water to people through desalination, and help advance socio-economic development, by creating both direct and indirect jobs.
Importantly, this project also supports the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); specifically, SDG 2, Zero Hunger, SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy.
On this occasion, the CEO of SFD, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, said: “Today’s signing marks a major milestone in our shared journey towards a more sustainable future. With this landmark development loan, SFD is not just supporting Tajikistan’s energy future, but also its sustainable development and the well-being of its people. The Rogun Hydropower Project is a beacon of
hope for a bright future that is powered by clean, renewable energy. It will propel Tajikistan towards environmental stewardship and prosperity.”

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