Saudi Arabia raised an estimated $12.2 billion from VAT in 2018, exceeding expectations by nearly one-third.
by Karen E. Young The experimental nature of Saudization begs many questions of which sectors are targeted and why, and how smaller businesses will be able to assume higher wage costs of hiring nationals.
by Karen E. Young Like the Bin Laden Group and Saudi Oger, Carillion has proved that the construction of megaprojects in the Gulf, however lucrative and central to state-led development plans, is full of pitfalls.
by Karen E. Young The Saudi, Bahraini, and Emirati efforts to isolate Qatar diplomatically and logistically from its Gulf Cooperation Council partners highlights structural weaknesses in many of the Gulf states, not just Qatar.
by Karen E. Young Trump may have elicited a deal that serves the interests of Saudi Arabia and the fund managers receiving the investment, but not necessarily filling a funding gap in an already deep pool of U.S.-based investor interest.
by Karen E. Young Despite slowdowns in consumer demand and general economic activity, there is evidence of alternative economic behavior and microenterprise that is thriving in the Gulf.
As a burgeoning global trend, economic nationalism is also surging in the Gulf states. What may be lost is the decade of efforts in economic integration and negotiations to make the GCC work as a common market, with complementary assets.
by Diane Munro Saudi Arabia is powering ahead with ambitious plans to reorganize its massive energy sector. The restructuring is part of its strategic plan to reduce domestic oil dependence and adopt a more commercial approach to its business operations at state oil company Aramco as part of Vision 2030 and ahead of the historic initial public offering set for 2018.
by Karen E. Young The beginning of the Trump administration points to, at the least, a heightened period of political and economic risk, which Gulf governments, financial institutions, and businesses will have to price, assess, and manage.
by Karen E. Young Trump’s pro-growth agenda will need partners, and the GCC states are also looking for investment partners in their diversification efforts and for placements for state-owned investment vehicles. It will be the politicization of these partnerships that will create the most risk.
by Karen E. Young In the GCC, there is an effort to recalibrate the relationship between foreign workers and Gulf national economies, in both the reliance on foreign labor and the downward pressure it has on service sector salaries.
by Karen E. Young The new Trump administration will likely offer a more transactional view of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, and specifically toward the Gulf states.
by Karen E. Young Saudi Arabia's unprecedented bond sale worth $17.5 billion had impeccable timing, given Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.
by Karen E. Young The GCC states have drastically reduced fuel subsidies, however have yet benefit from deficit relief.
Market Watch: Blood in the Water: Speculation on Gulf Currency Pegs Misses First Victims of Downturn
by Karen E. Young The real victims of the oil slump could be in the domestic economies, from local banks to small and medium size enterprises, to those businesses most closely connected to the energy sector, and those contractors servicing infrastructure growth.
by Karen E. Young Breaking diplomatic ties with Iran might result in Saudi Arabia missing out on a regional economic success story.
by Karen E. Young Oil and gas producing states in the region have started to sell off their assets in order to offset the declining energy prices.