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Economy, Development Plans

economic diversification, private enterprise, oil prices, petrochemical industry, industrial sector

In 1975 the government of Saudi Arabia announced an ambitious five-year development plan based on continued oil revenues, calling for expenditures of about $150 billion, with much of this amount devoted to improving the country’s infrastructure. Priority in the industrial sector was given to the development of a petrochemical industry, the building of liquefied natural-gas plants and petroleum-based industries, and production of steel and cement to facilitate the large-scale construction required by the plan. A subsequent development plan, for 1980 to 1985, called for expenditures of some $236 billion, with emphasis on diversifying industry. The five-year plan for 1985 to 1990 called for $277 billion in development spending, but continued weakness in oil prices and declines in petroleum revenues forced the government to scale down many programs. The plan also encouraged private enterprise, which grew in importance during the late 1980s, reaching 70 percent of non-oil GDP. A plan for the first half of the 1990s focused on the country’s defense forces, social services, and the creation of greater employment opportunities for Saudi citizens through the reduction of foreign workers in the country. The initial intent of a plan beginning in 1995 was to lower the cost of government services while expanding educational training. The plan also called for reducing dependence on the petroleum sector through economic diversification.

Article key phrases:

economic diversification, private enterprise, oil prices, petrochemical industry, industrial sector, five-year plan, dependence, social services, expenditures, cement, production of steel, Priority, government of Saudi Arabia, half, importance, emphasis, programs


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