The remarks of

His Royal Highness Prince

Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al- Sa’ud

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

To the United Kingdom

Delivered to

the British Chamber of Commerce

for the

Saudi Finance Forum: Growth and Stability


The Dorchester Hotel, London


15th of Thu al-Qa'dah, 1432 H.

13th of October, 2011


Your excellencies, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for inviting me to take part in today's forum. I am always pleased to take part in Arab-British Chamber of Commerce events, as its mission is one that is important – to foster more prosperous economic and cultural relations between my homeland, its Arab neighbours, and the UK where I am honoured to serve as the ambassador of our King and people. I am delighted that a senior member of the British Government is able to take part in this forum today and I am sure his contribution will be both interesting and beneficial. His presence here today highlights the excellent relations that exist between our two countries.


Ladies and gentlemen, the Arab British Chamber is one whose work has recently brought new ideas and important commercial connections to both Kingdoms. While, no doubt, we have all heard the joke that a committee is twelve men doing the work of one, this Chamber has, in my opinion, always been a committee whose members do even more work than their numbers would suggest can be done.


As the subject of today's gathering is growth and stability in Saudi finance, I would like to take a quick look at the financial picture of my country in order to show how responsibly we have managed our resources to assure our stability and security. This also shows how vital a part we therefore continue to play in the global economy. Unlike some of the regional governments currently facing unrest, the Kingdom has a strong record of fiscal responsibility and economic diversification.


The total of 2011 projected GDP of the entire MENA region is 2.8 trillion dollars generated from a population of over 380 million people. Saudi Arabia's GDP of around 580 billion Dollars therefore represents almost 21% of the total regional GDP and over 25% of the Arab world's economic output. This is from a country with a population of 25 million people, or only 6.5% of the total population of the MENA countries.


And while possession of one quarter of the world's oil reserves and almost the entire spare production capacity on the planet provides Saudi Arabia with a steady and abundant source of revenue, the Kingdom has also become an important provider of petrochemicals and financial services in our region. Revenues from energy exports have been able to fund trading markets and development projects that benefit the Kingdom's fast growing population. Also of major importance are the estimated 600 billion dollars in foreign reserves amassed during King Abdullah's rule. This figure sets Saudi Arabia as the third largest holder of foreign reserves, behind China and Japan. Though with a population much smaller than these two countries, the Kingdom is the largest foreign reserves holder on a per capita basis within the G20.


Ladies and gentlemen, it is my belief that these excellent figures are in no small part due to the outstanding efforts and diligence of the Saudi Ministry of Finance who is responsible for the stewardship and health of the Saudi economy. It is through their efforts that Saudi Arabia has been able to excel at creating a business environment that is stable and welcoming to growth. Thanks to their management, the World Economic Forum's listing of the most competitive economies ranks Saudi Arabia as number 21 in the world, and the World Bank listed Saudi Arabia as the 11th most business friendly nation in the world. Further, in a recent Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report on the long-term growth outlook for the European, Middle Eastern and African regions, Saudi Arabia was one of three nations listed (along with Turkey and South Africa) as having the greatest growth potential.

In short, ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Finance and SAMA under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz have helped assure that the financial state of Saudi Arabia is exceedingly healthy, which has proven integral to assuring our stability for the future.


Yet those of us native to the Kingdom can only take credit for some of this success, as it is also due to the relations we have with our many trading partners, among whom we must count the United Kingdom as one of the most important.


And so today, ladies and gentlemen, we are honoured to have with us the acknowledged authority who commands the respect and trust of his peers, to share with us in detail his inspirational thoughts and foresight about growth and prosperity in Saudi Arabia and how this partnership can continue to grow and bring wealth and stability to both our kingdoms.


Thank you and may God's Peace and Blessings be upon you all.

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته