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Economy, Currency and Foreign Trade

basic metals, Prophet Muhammad, Mecca, tomb, Medina

Saudi Arabia’s unit of currency is the riyal, which is divided into 100 halalah (3.74 riyals equal U.S.$1; 2000 average). Because of Saudi Arabia’s reliance on foreign sales of petroleum, its yearly exports rose rapidly in the 1970s but declined almost as sharply in the 1980s; the nation’s exports dropped from $111 billion in 1981 to $23 billion in 1987, while imports decreased from $30 billion to $18 billion. In 2000 exports totaled $78.7 billion, and imports $36.7 billion. Exports are primarily petroleum and petroleum products. Japan and the United States are by far the leading purchasers, followed by South Korea, Singapore, France, and India. Chief imports are transportation equipment, machinery, basic metals, textiles, chemicals and chemical products, food products, and animals and animal products. Leading suppliers of imports are the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The large numbers of Muslim pilgrims who make annual visits to Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, and Medina, the site of his tomb, spend considerable sums of money in Saudi Arabia.

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basic metals, Prophet Muhammad, Mecca, tomb, Medina, transportation equipment, South Korea, petroleum products, animal products, birthplace, chemical products, food products, textiles, Switzerland, France, Japan, animals, average, chemicals, India, Germany, Singapore, machinery, United States, United Kingdom, site


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