Industrial development in the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia, which has resulted in the building of 3,381 factories
in a short period of time, has turned the Kingdom from an importer to
an exporter of industrial products. According to a statistical report
obtained by the Saudi Press Agency, in 1421 AH, the invested capital
in these factories reached more than SR239 billion and the number of
workers rose to 310,000.
The chemicals industries topped the
industries' list, and were followed by the industries of plastic
materials, ceramics, construction materials, textiles, readymade
clothes, mineral products, equipments, foodstuffs and other
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently
exports annually, to more than 118 countries, non-oil industrial
products worth SR20 billion. The report highlighted the contribution
of the manufacturing industries, excluding oil refining, to
development of the national economy.
The industrial growth rate reached
nearly 10 percent. Industrial production amounted to SR82 billion,
while sales of national industries in the local market amounted to
In line with the strategic goals of
the development plans, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)
was set up in 1396AH. Its marketing activities extended to more than
90 countries, through 18 industrial complexes, with a production
capacity of more than 25 million metric tons and a total capital of
more than SR104.1 billion. By the end of 1999, there were 16,000
workers and trainees at SABIC. Eight industrial cities were built,
with 21 factories for basic industries, 12 factories for non-basic
industries and 112 factories for light and support industries.
The reports noted that the successive
development plans had stressed the need for industrialization as an
ideal means for realizing the goals of development and diversification
of the production base and depending less on oil revenues.